Last Thursday was the private view for the Zines of the World (ZOTW) exhibition at The Truman Brewery. The curation enabled the viewer to be completely emersed in the work due to the way it was hung. You weaved yourself amongst the hanging Zines and when one caught your eye you could enjoy its content.
There were so many it would be impossible to look at every one of them. But the variety was great both in size and content. Some of the Zines were purely image based whilst others had written content like mine.
It is always interesting to see other people’s creative take on the zine format, some were A5, some were newspapers, others were like a mini book. But the beauty is there are no rules or boundaries.
The content of my zine was to mimic an actual magazine. The title Front Cover, was named so as I believe all women of all ethnicities, sizes, gender identifying etc should grace the covers of all magazines not just the typical model with a certain beauty aesthetic.
Women are tired of being dictated too and told time and time again you should be like this and that. But as time has shown women cannot win no matter what they do... you’re too thin, eat more of this, exercise like that, be more natural looking, wear this makeup, get that plumped - the endless cycle of being bullied mentally about how you do or do not fit into the expected norm, whatever the flavour of the month or year is, is such a snore fest. Here’s a thought, how about celebrating women for what they are, individual beauties in their own right. But that would not fit the capitalist ideal now would it?
But on the other hand, there is a shift happening. People, particularly women are becoming tired of that old rhetoric and are creating their own magazines or Zines to share a platform for women to gather either in person or on media forums to share how they feel and become part of a collective. That is what movements are all about, tipping the balance, questioning the perceived norm and challenging it.
So in a way, my little zine is the start of that. Questioning the representation of women of colour in the fashion world - where are they? Why aren’t there more? Which obviously coincides with my brand and the aesthetic of having women of colour out there more visually. Now to think about what next???
I think I want to focus more on Indian (South Asian) women as there is a distinct lack of them in the general media world. And how do you start to raise awareness? By drawing attention to it. So thinking cap on for how to make his happen and in what way.....
So back to the Zines from the exhibition, I am not even sure what is going to happen to them after the show, I probably should find out ha ha! Either way it was another great experience to be a part of the exhibition and for my work to have another platform. It has made me think about making another one especially as I have the professional photographs now. But really I need to focus on the lookbook, which in turn could be extended to become a new magazine, let’s see as there are only so many hours in the day.
So there is a break in my calendar. No more events pencilled in but it has given me the thirst for being part of a collective group. Reaching out more. I am already looking out for more opportunities and have a few I need to contact. It is fun I have to say being part of various events or exhibitions. Let’s hope there will be many more.