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Australian Zinesters

This is a group for all Australian zinemakers and lovers.

Location: Australia
Members: 179
Latest Activity: Mar 29

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Comment by Summarily on October 16, 2008 at 7:33pm
How about the boxing kangaroo it's cute n kitch?!
Comment by Emma Stronach on October 16, 2008 at 7:30pm
Maybe we could try to find a stamp that has the continent portrayed on it sans flag?

:P
Comment by Bird in the Hand Zine Shop on October 16, 2008 at 4:30am
What would you prefer the icon for this group be? Place your votes - I have no direct need to stare blankly at the Australian flag, although believe it directly correlates to the group's name and our 'geographical' location. But, y'know, I truly don't mind.
Comment by Emma Stronach on October 15, 2008 at 10:08pm
Not much to do with it really, I just thought it was an odd way to introduce yourself, very strong way to start.

It's strange, the way I see our national identity is very different to yours. Recently, in particular, I've seen Australia become a country in its own right, rather than a part of a commonwealth. Cultural cringe (or being embarrased to be an Australian) was waned and Australia is considered (so my overseas friends tell me) to be a very modern multicultural country.

I had thought, after Sorry day, that we were re-defining Australia as a place that admits to the errors of the past, and moves on together as a whole.

In case you missed it, the group is called "Australian Zinesters", so it can't really help being categorised through national identity. It's just a place for people who live in Australia to gather and talk about zines. Just a matter of geography.
Comment by lousie on October 15, 2008 at 8:41pm
Emma,

I didn't "demand", I requested. And it seems like this groups only has activity from the last week or so, so I don't see what the length of my membership has to do with anything. Maybe I'm confused about this, but it doesn't really mean anything anyway.

I think your point here sums up my feelings:
"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."

As I hope I have made clear, I wasn't suggesting that whoever chose the symbol was choosing to express the problematic politics that I see as tied up in the flag, and very strongly in that graphic. But it is, like you say, a national symbol and I'm opposed to nationalism. I think that Australian nationalism is (historically & currently) inherently connected to racism & I'm not interested in being part of a group that defines itself by national identity.
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?
 

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