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The term "zine" is not just a contraction of the word "magazine." Zines are homebrewed magazines, produced by individuals or small groups, typically in small numbers and with limited distribution. The world of zines was inspired by Soviet-era samizdat networks (illicit duplication of forbidden literature via photocopies) and the science fiction fanzines of the 1960s and 1970s (mimeographed or Xeroxed small-run magazines sent to small groups of dedicated SF fans.) The heyday of zines was the late 1980s through the mid-1990s. A typical zine was created on a typewriter or word-processor or even handwritten, with hand-drawn or clip art illustrations. Music zines were probably the most common, but zines existed for many obscure topics not covered by large-scale press. Local copy shops, independent record stores and alternative distribution networks like Factsheet 5 made zines a simple way for individuals to speak their minds, share their ideas and communicate with others of like mind in their own community and around the world. Many zines were distributed by hand or via local record stores or bookstores, while others were traded by mail with other zine writers like pen pals. A few were picked up by magazine distributors like Tower Records, and exposed to readers around the world, but most zines remained obscure. The popularization of the World Wide Web made electronic expression easier and more practical, making zines seemingly obsolete.

In this month’s Midtown Monthly, I wrote an article about Sacramento’s zine history, profiling local zines from the late 1980s and early 1990s. I claimed that zines seem like an archaic form of communication today, due to the advent of the Internet. However, zines are alive and well in the 21st century, and KDVS DJ Sharmi Basu wants to prove it by hosting the first Sacramento Zine Symposium. It takes place this Saturday July 11th at the Brickhouse Gallery, 2837 36th Street,  in Oak Park.

The Sacramento Zine Symposium is a showcase for all the alternative press that is underrepresented in the sacramento/davis/norcal community. It’s a chance to make friends, network, and share your experience or lack thereof in the world of zines. Vendoring, food, everything, is FREE, featuring KDVS DJs and food by Food Not Bombs Sacramento 

Schedule of events:
1-130pm: Intro [What is a Zine?]
130-2: Lunch
2-245: Workshops [Distro]
245-315: Break
315-4: Workshop [Binding/Screenprinting]
4-430: Break
430-515:Workshop [Alternative Press Culture]
515-545: Break
545-7: Dinner, Ending speech

Date: July 11th
Time: 1-10pm
Place: Brickhouse Gallery 2837 36th St. Sacramento, CA 95817

This event is all-ages, and admission is free.