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Zinefest 2023 kicks off with busy market weekend

by Vanessa Elley (she/her)

news writer

Auckland Zinefest 2023 has begun with a successful market weekend, drawing crowds to the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki on August 5th and 6th.

The annual festival celebrates zinemaking, small press, and DIY culture in Tāmaki Makaurau, with 2023 being its fourteenth year running.

Organiser Catalina Nuñez Elevancini says Zinefest is an important space for creatives to get their work out there.

“There’s a huge creative community in Auckland, from all kinds of disciplines… The zine format really brings them all together.

“It’s really fun to see people figure out how they can put their work into a zine, and it’s just a really good space for people to uplift each other and express ideas they don’t get to see in mainstream publications or media.”

A ‘zine’ (short for and pronounced like ‘magazine’) is usually a small self-published and self-circulated work of collected images or original art.

“The main thing about a zine is that it is self made - runs are usually under 1,000 copies are produced” says Nuñez Elevancini.

Zinefest has been around in Auckland as a non-profit, volunteer-run community group since its first event in 2009.

“I’ve always realised the power that zines have… there’s a lot of migrants, queer people, and independent artists that share their work. It’s important that we make sure they feel like their work is valued.”

The weekend’s markets were well-attended, with up to 2,500 people visiting throughout both days, including 200 people just in the first ‘Quiet Hour’ between 10am and 11am on Saturday.

Quiet Hour was a new addition to Zinefest this year, aimed at visitors who needed a more relaxed sensory environment with smaller crowds.

“We had good feedback about that too, from people on the day and also some messages on Instagram thanking us for making the space and time for it.”

Nuñez Elevancini says that Zinefest is a way to continue the history of zinemaking, and make sure that there is a dedicated space for it in Tāmaki Makaurau.

“The zine format has been around since the early 1900s; it's been used by suffragette movements, by sci-fi fandoms, by punk and feminist movements in the eighties, and even the Black Panther movement. It’s just always been the first method people use to get info out there.”

Zinefest 2023 will continue with more events across August, including bookbinding workshops and a twenty-four-hour zinemaking challenge.

Check for more details.


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