This weekend, some of the American babes of Boshemia attended the 7th Annual D.C. Zine Fest [DCZF] to promote Boshemia Magazine in Washington, D.C. On July 15, Becky J.—lead designer for the magazine—and I [Eileen] dropped off a stack of magazines at Zine Fest’s Day of Distro table and headed into the circus of nearly 900 visitors to mingle with zine-makers from the D.C. metro area.
Held at St. Stephen & the Incarnation Church in Northwest DC, the venue was perfect for such a gathering of creatives—it served as a literal sanctuary, a truly accessible and safe public space for people to come together. Zinesters, self-publishing artists and other independent creatives came from New York City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and nearby D.C. neighborhoods to showcase their publications, prints, pins, buttons, hand-sewn books, stickers, magnets, and other lovely bits of art.
So what is a zine, exactly? Zines exist at the intersection of activism and art, and appear in a vast array of mediums and forms; most literally, they are self-published small works, smaller than a traditional magazine and self-published. Created to be accessible, printed independently, and circulated easily, zines are often political in nature, and if not political, they are often informative or narrative works.