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  • Writer's pictureJacqueline Jouannet

Fanzine fangirl

When I was about 18 years old, many years before the internet, I was lucky enough to discover fanzines, or 'zines'. Fanzines, for those who may not be aware, are handmade DIY magazines, written about a particular subject and shared with others interested in similar things. The subjects vary enormously and literally anything goes. If you love it, you can write a zine about it!

Despite the arrival of the internet, paper zines, often handwritten, collaged, with words cut and pasted from newspapers or typed on old typewriters, have continued to thrive and this makes me very happy. The zines are sold or passed on for free via the internet, or via zine fairs, zine fests, some bookshops like Travelling Man or Forbidden Planet and, my personal favourite, zine distros. Distros are like libraries of lots of different zines from where you can order whatever takes your fancy. They are fuelled by a proud commitment to independent publishing, a punk DIY ethos and a determination to get voices heard; to connect and communicate with others in a personal and authentic way, sometimes absent from the screen based social media formats used today.

My favourite type of zine are what are known as 'perzines' or personal zines. These are zines in which people share experiences they have had, stories about significant aspects of their lives or their passions and special interests. I was inspired to create my own fanzine when my children were born, about being a mother and the overwhelming changes it brought to my life. The process of creating this zine, finding images and poetry to express my feelings and help me process my new circumstances was incredibly therapeutic.

As a therapist, I see the huge therapeutic potential of writing, journalling and creating. I have witnessed clients deeply in flow, who are processing very difficult experiences without the use of words. It is humbling and beautiful to witness and I love to work alongside my clients in this way.

If you are interested in finding out more, here are some links to some of my favourite zines, graphic novels and distros.

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