We Make Zines

a place for zinesters - writers and readers


Australian Zinesters

This is a group for all Australian zinemakers and lovers.

Location: Australia
Members: 181
Latest Activity: Sep 4

Discussion Forum

2013 mca zine fair 5 Replies

Started by Aspire. Last reply by Aspire May 26, 2013.

Tasmania Zine Tour May/June 2013 1 Reply

Started by Staples. Last reply by Staples May 12, 2013.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Emma Stronach on October 15, 2008 at 6:54pm
Hi Louise :)

Thanks for explaining your point of view. I've got to say I was a little taken aback that you had such a strong reaction to it that you felt you had to demand it's removal from a group you had just joined, but having just spent a week at the This Is Not Art festival i am learning to appreciate that members of subcultures (such as zinesters) are very passionate and vocal. I don't really mind whether it is changed or not, but I thought in the interest of healthy debate I had better tell you why I like it.

That's an interesting way of looking at the flag as a pop icon, but I can't help but wonder if the violent actions of a few bogans should be allowed to tarnish what is, like it or not, a national symbol. The flag was the flag before the rampant nationalism of the Cronulla wankers, before 911 and the war on Terror... all good points on your part, but I'm still a little confused as to how the flag is to blame for all of this.

The whole flag as t-shirt thing, not actually that new in fashion. You'll find that any time there is an Olympics, or any major sporting event really, the flag shirts and boxers, the green and gold zinc on noses, all that sort of national pride stuff comes out.

I'm not sure that this group is political in nature (you'd have to ask the founder about that one). As far as I can tell it is an Australian page for people who make zines, which encompasses a broad spectrum of genres and points of view.

Whatever the Australian flag may mean to you, it is a national symbol, instantly recogniseable as is the distinctive shape of the country itself. It probably didn't even occur to the person who put it there as our icon that it could be problematic.

To me, I am eighth generation Australian and very proud to be so. I'm not saying I have a flagpole in my front yard, but I do feel a twinge of pride when I see one. I understand that as it carries the Union Jack (a symbol of our colonial past) it could be seen as an insult to the original inhabitants of our country. I actually asked my Aboriginal studies class (part of a program I was in when studying Education, went out to schools out West) what they thought of it, and most of the kids didn't really care. Although one did say that she thought blue was a good choice because we're surrounded by water.

So yeah, I like the flag, but I don't really mind if we change the icon here.
Comment by Summarily on October 15, 2008 at 6:21pm
Yeh since Cronulla I have felt sad about seeing the flag, but hey yay for Aussie zinesters!
Comment by lousie on October 15, 2008 at 6:44am
Hey emma,
I'm more than happy to have a discussion about why the flag makes me feel ill. (It will probably involve the electronic equivalent of me waving my hands around a lot).

I just didn't want to give the impression that I assumed that the use of the flag as a symbol implied a conscious embrace of nationalism by whoever chose it. I assume it was chosen from convenience, perhaps haste.

But I'm happy to explain myself.

Put it this way: I'm really very sure that 6 years ago, say, there's no way that a group such as this - subcultural/youth cultural, if not explicitly political - would have used the Australian flag as an identifying symbol. It has only recently become so normal, fashionable even. The whole flag-as--shirt-fashion thing that happens now: it would have been unimaginably daggy not long ago at all. There's been a resurgence of nationalism, pop-nationalism: there's also been two wars, plus the never-ending war on terror with accompanying racism. This scares me.

Put it another way: the flag over the continent like that erases the history of this land. Look at this map instead.

To put it the shortest way: The Cronulla riots.

That's why I really don't want a flag graphic on my page.

(& yeah, hi, got distracted from my intro: I'm not sure how many of you I know & who I'm just meeting. I've been making zines for ten years or so, the most recent is called Mute as bottles. I live in Sydney.)
Comment by Candace on October 15, 2008 at 4:36am
i think that's a fair enough comment from lousie. I agree, we should have something more generic that appeals to those of us who don't feel an affinity with the flag.

for me, it just presumes a nationalism not all of us feels. I mean, we could start a thread about the whys of how some of us feel attached to that particular symbol of british colonialism/etc and why some of us don't feel comfortable with patriotism/etc. but i'm happy to see it changed.

I'm also kind of introducing myself. hi my names candace. new to the group but been doing zines for about 8 years. I think I must have met a lot of you at TINA this year.
Comment by Emma Stronach on October 15, 2008 at 12:10am
Um... way to introduce yourself Louise :P

You're probably going to get miffed if I say, "It's just an icon", so instead I'd rather ask why... Why does the flag upset you so much?
Comment by lousie on October 14, 2008 at 11:44pm
can whoever is able please change the icon for this group? I'm geographically located on this continent, but I feel *no* affinity to the flag.
I mean, I don't assume everyone here shares my radically unaustralian anti-state politics.
But the thing is, I'd like to talk with you all on the basis of shared geography/postal systems/maybe living near by, not cos we're part of the same nation: which is what the flag-continent icon suggests to me.
What do you reckon?
Comment by ChrisChinchilla on October 6, 2008 at 10:25pm
Yup, every Wednesday, though it's a collective so numbers are up and down a bit...
Comment by lofipi on October 6, 2008 at 8:17pm
Thanks for the link to the photos of the TINA zine fair. Not as good as being there, but better than not being there and not seeing the photos.
Comment by Bird in the Hand Zine Shop on October 6, 2008 at 5:25pm

here's a link to photos from the TINA zine fair, Australia's largest zine fair each October long weekend in Newcastle.
Comment by Bird in the Hand Zine Shop on October 6, 2008 at 5:23pm
oh Man!!! I want to come to Melbourne now. I'll be hitting the city over the weekend of 17th October if anyone is interested in a ziney coffee or a trip to Sticky.

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