Zines and the Emergence of Digital Media

Originating from the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) culture, Zines are a historical example of how valuable it is to be able to speak one’s mind about whatever it is that they would like to express. Although the name is shortened from the word magazine, zines do not share many resemblance when it comes to what one would expect a magazine to have; and that’s the point. These creative documents had no structures to follow, no standards that they had to adhere. All was up to the creator. This is why the zine fanatics appreciate them.

Zines have a very important quality that was transferred over to digital media. This characteristic is that of being the voice of the underground, of communities whose voices could not reach as far as the mainstream media yet held a stronger impact since it was personal, or simply the voice of an individual is in need of an alternative medium to express themselves. This quality can be clearly seen in our culture toda
y, with our mobile devices, internet access, and undefined capabilities in regards to the content that can be created.

Doing it yourself is at once a critique of the dominant mode of passive consumer culture and something far more important: the active creation of an alternative culture. DIY is not just complaining about what is, but actually doing something different.

-“Zines”, Duncombe

Today, online communities thrive in all parts of the web. Just like all of those famous YouTube channels with millions of followers exist, so do more smaller, and specific channels that serve content to a respective group of individuals. The same goes for blogs, websites, and even social media platforms.

Looking back at Zines and the impact they had one can understand how important it is for those that feel they aren’t being included in the mainstream narrative to raise their voices loud and clear so they, too, can be included.


In case any of you is interested in making a Zine of your own (we have access to free staplers at the computer labs, no need to swipe any from the office building you sneak into)