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Zine Culture and Locality/Regionality:
The Significance of Practices Derived from That Relationship

日本語タイトル:「ジンカルチャーと現場性/地域性――その関係から導かれる諸実践の意義」
【Invited Lecture】*This page is the lecture material.*
Murakami, Kiyoshi村上 潔] June 12, 2024
at the Graduate School of Global Studies of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (via Zoom)

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■About This Invited Lecture[この講義について]

授業情報

◆実施授業:東京外国語大学大学院総合国際学研究科[Graduate School of Global Studies of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies]2024年度春学期《学術英語演習1[Academic English I]》(担当教員:中井杏奈[Nakai, Anna])第10回
◇授業テーマ[Subject of the Class]:"Public History and Information Dissemination: Podcasting, Self-Publishing and Beyond"
◇Date+Time: June 12, 2024 (Wednesday) 17:40-19:10
◇via Zoom

Designated Reading Material[指定講読文献]

◆Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2022, "[Presentation] The Significance of Community Activities and Learning Practices of a Zine Circle in the Gathering Place of Diverse Minority Movements: A Case Study of a Multiethnic/Multicultural Area in Kyoto"
September 9, 2022 (Friday) 10:00-11:30 BST via Zoom
《Zines ASSEMBLE》Free One-Day Online Symposium: Session 1 【Program】
*日本語タイトル:「多様なマイノリティ運動の集合地におけるジン[Zine]サークルのコミュニティ活動と学習実践がもつ意義――京都の多民族・多文化共生地域の事例から」

Reference Materials[参考資料]

◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2020, "[Presentation] A Very Little Zine Library as a Communication Hub and Learning Spot in the Local Community in Kyoto", arsvi.com, July 23, 2020, (http://www.arsvi.com/2020/20200722mk.htm).
 *Relevant to Kauffman et al. (2020)
◇Kauffman, Rhonda, Kiyoshi Murakami, Marya Errin Jones and Ziba Perez Zehdar (Posted by Edwin Fallwell), "[International Panel Discussion] Zine Libraries and Zine Librarianship", Zine Librarians unConference (ZLuC), July 22, 2020, (http://www.zinelibraries.info/wiki/izld-2020-online-event-notes-and-recordings/zine-libraries-and-zine-librarianship-panel/).
◇ZibaZLibrarian, 2024, "Palisades Zine Library!", YouTube, May 10, 2024, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGNXos2PKKU/).【Video】
 *Report on the state of thet zine library in a local public library(Palisades Branch Library[ロサンゼルス公共図書館パリセーズ分館])

[…]

■Introduction

Self-Introduction

Murakami, Kiyoshi
◇Researcher ― based in Kyoto and Kobe, Japan
Areas of Expertise: (1) Contemporary Women's Movement History, (2) Minority-Led Labour Movements, (3) Reproductive Labour and Housewives, (4) Feminist Zines, (5) Archiving of Local Women's Activity Records.
◇Co-organiser and Facilitator of Morning Zine Circle (2016~2021 / at Nijo, Kyoto)

Preamble

I am very happy to have the opportunity to present at this wonderful lecture.
Throughout this short presentation, I present you the possibilities of the power that zine culture can exert in the region and local community.
I hope that you all will be inspired to start zine-related activities in the region where you are based.

■Body Text *Draft

** As well as after the presentation has been completed, additions and corrections are made as necessary. **

0 What This Lecture Conveys

What I want to convey to the students in this lecture is the positive function that zine culture has for the local community/culture scene. I hope that your awareness of this will encourage you all to spontaneously start proactive attempts on zines in your local area or in the area where you are currently active.

1 Definition and Principles of Zines

◆Definition
Zines are non-profit, small-circulation, and self-produced publications generated by an individual or like-minded community.
Its main characteristic is that it embraces physicality, intimacy and politics.
Zine is a medium full of possibilities, not only for personal enjoyment, but also as a tool of empowerment for vulnerable people and as a weapon in social movements.

◆Principles
The principles of zines are ...
・non-profit
・accessible
 ―to be produced at low cost
 ―to be provided free of charge or at low price (or to exchange it for something else)
・based on DIY spirit/ethos
 ―to generate by own hands.
 ―not relying on professional services
・marginalised people's means of expression/resistance
 ―mediating tools for the marginalised people themselves to empower each other

2 Characteristics of Zine Culture

The characteristics of zine culture are ...
・anti-commercialism/anti-capitalism
 ―not to allow commercial use
  ―Zine is not a complement or alternative to commercial magazines, but a counterbalancing medium to them.
 ―countering marketing ideas
・anti-discrimination
 ―countering sexism, racism, classism and disablism/ableism ...
・anti-meritocracy
 ―denying privilege
  ―not aiming to be/become famous
  ―not to place value on being artistic
 ―building horizontal relationships without hierarchy
  ―makers/producers are not the only bearers of zine culture. Distros[*1] and Infoshops[*2] also have an unique role to play.
・anarchism
・feminism
・social movements that are organised autonomously
 ―Zines act as media in the field of various struggles.
・mutual aid and solidarity
・pedagogical function
 ―However, care should be taken not to abuse zine production in school education. It is necessary to recognise that activities related to zine are themselves 'education'. ・close relationship to punk scene
・close relationship to queer scene
・close relationship to BIPOC culture
・close relationship to migrant culture
・subjectivity of sick and disabled people
・consciousness of reproductive health/rights
・proactive activities by librarians/archivists

[*1] 'Distro': Independent distributor. Many work individually. They move frequently between event venues and alternative spaces in different regions. (An example in Japan: SHE SAYS distro https://shesaysdis.thebase.in)
[*2] 'Infoshop': Bases of the anarchist movement scattered all over the world. Many are independently run in the corner of large cities, where people and information (flyers calling for participation in direct actions, ones announcing punk and other music shows, and independent publications such as zines, etc.) constantly come and go and are consolidated. Study groups, workshops and talk events are sometimes organised. (An example in Japan: Irregular Rhythm Asylum https://ira.tokyo)

3 Local Publishing Culture: General Aspects

A general overview of local publishing culture shows that, firstly, local history-related results published by small local publishers occupy a significant place.
Secondly, there are records of the residents' independent circle activities. Those cover a wide range of topics, including literature/community activities/environmental volunteering, and are mostly written, printed and bound by the circle members themselves. This field is often characterised by the fact that women, mainly housewives, are the main actors. Those are therefore likely to be the subject of attention from the perspective of gender.
In addition, there are the historical records in the regions including a minority community. The process/history of discrimination and hardships in the region is documented there, and those results have inscribed the trace of the efforts and struggles undertaken by predecessors up to the present day.
These records/products above exist as important 'legacies' in terms of current zine culture.

4 The Power of Zines in the Local Scene

The non-centricity/de-centrism of zines' nature has a strong affinity for the activities of cultural formation/promotion in local communities, and therefore contributes significantly to them.
In addition, there is an element of 'decolonisation' there. This is the logic behind the activities of the marginalised communities under oppression. It also serves as a direction for the stance needed by the 'majority' on the 'outside' of the communities to contact and collaborate with them.
Within the minorities as marginalised groups subject to oppression, there are diverse factors such as race, gender, sexuality, class, educational background and the presence or absence of disability. They do not exist in isolation, but function in a complex way ― and to understand this, concepts such as intersectionality are also necessary.
I hope that you have been able to get a sense of some of that aspects through reading the assigned reading text in this lecture.
The practices of ENZC (East Nine Zine Circle) described there are on a very small scale and the pace of activity is slow. Therefore, they have not produced any significant results― except for a few zines. At present, their activities have not developed to the extent that they can be called a 'social movement'. However, there are certain achievements and potentials that are being produced by some actors, that is the participants of ENZC, inside and outside the minority neighbourhoods. Most importantly, it is mediated by zine culture. In approaching the purpose to empower anyone concerned and the community by connecting themselves and the local people they do not yet know, zines as independent media are the very effective force.

【Subjoinder】
Although the ENZC as the investigation object of the assigned reading text is based in an ethnic minority neighborhood, it does not specifically address/emphasise ethnicity issues in the zines they have produced or in their activities. Looking at another aspect of that, ENZC avoids 'forcing' themselves to apply their consciousness and activities into the locality. Instead, each member honestly expresses their marginal attribution (marginality in gender, sexuality, employment, work, physical and mental conditions) and difficulties that they have. I believe that this is linked to and resonates with the marginality of the region in which they do the circle activities. This attitude towards 'society' which is based on the conditions and feelings of the each individual above all is in line with the characteristics of zine culture. The above points are very important for thinking about the relationship between locality/regionality and zine culture.

5 What We Can Do in the Local Communities Now/in the Future

Finally, let's consider some zine-related initiatives we can take locally.
What immediately comes to mind would be a zine-making workshop or a zinefest. However, it takes some time and steps to achieve them after building trust with local people.
I recommend the practice of zine archiving. Although this is an unglamorous work, it is quite valuable to work with people who have been involved in independent publishing activities in the region in the past, or with the local library, to collect and organise materials that are the 'ancestors' of zines.
It is ideal if the results could be presented at a place such as community centre. More to the point, if it is possible to establish a zine library somewhere in the region that is in long-term fixed environments and can be used accessible by anyone, so much the better. Then, if we could connect the results with people who are currently making zines outside the region, it would also be wonderful!

【Subjoinder】
To put it simply, it is difficult to set up and maintain a zine library in the local community and to continue the activities of archiving zines and independent publications. This is because the cafes, bookshops, infoshops and alternative spaces that are the main hubs for those activities are often forced to close or scale back their activities due to business or other reasons. With this issue in mind, the ideal conditions for such activities are to take place in public libraries, public museums, community centres and the prefectural centre for gender equality. However, this direction requires careful and long-term relationship building with those institutions, which inevitably takes some time. It also requires cumbersome procedures at each stage. Those things would be 'troublesome' for people belonging to the underground cultural scene. In addition, that direction may be 'uncomfortable' for those who genuinely value the DIY/anarchic spirit/ethos. The question of how the participants involved in the activities make any decision on this issue is a somewhat difficult problem.

*Duration of presentation: 20 minutes

■References

◇Baker, Sarah and Zelmarie Cantillon, 2022, "Zines as Community Archive", Archival Science, March 10, 2022, doi: 10.1007/s10502-022-09388-1.
◇Beronilla, Pola (Scout Team), n.d., "Behind the Zines: Looking into Local Zine Culture", Scout, (https://www.scoutmag.ph/25211/behind-zines-looking-local-zine-culture/).
◇Ho, Kelly, 2024, "Hong Kong Zine Librarian Sam Chao on the Importance of Keeping an Accessible Archive", HKFP, May 15, 2024, (https://hongkongfp.com/2024/05/15/hong-kong-zine-librarian-samantha-chao-on-the-importance-of-keeping-an-accessible-archive/).
◇Honma, Todd, 2016, "From Archives to Action: Zines, Participatory Culture, and Community Engagement in Asian America", Radical Teacher, 105: 33-43, DOI:10.5195/rt.2016.277.
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2014a, "On the Relationship Between Women's Liberation Movement and Culture in Kyoto (1) From the Activities of the Women's Space 'Shambala'", AMeeT, May 5, 2014, (https://www.ameet.jp/column/219/).
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2014b, "On the Relationship Between Women's Liberation Movement and Culture in Kyoto (2) Women's Liberation Movement of the 1980s After the Dissolution of 'Shambhala'", AMeeT, July 8, 2014, (https://www.ameet.jp/column/221/).
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2014c, "On the Relationship Between Women's Liberation Movement and Culture in Kyoto (3) The Search for Remaining a Women's Liberation Activist in the 1990s", AMeeT, September 26, 2014, (https://www.ameet.jp/column/223/).
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2018a, "An Approach to Urban Space and Autonomous Culture: Reports on Manchester's Zine Scene (1) Salford Zine Library", AMeeT, January 26, 2018, (http://www.ameet.jp/column/1380/).
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2018b, "An Approach to Urban Space and Autonomous Culture: Reports on Manchester's Zine Scene (2) Potential That the Workshop 'Make Stuff' Shows", AMeeT, March 7, 2018, (http://www.ameet.jp/column/1464/).
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2018c, "An Approach to Urban Space and Autonomous Culture: Reports on Manchester's Zine Scene (3) 'Zine Club' As a 'Space' of Creativity", AMeeT, March 31, 2018, (http://www.ameet.jp/column/1507/).
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2018d, "An Approach to Urban Space and Autonomous Culture: Reports on Manchester's Zine Scene (4) Potential of Zines and Space That Is Viewed Through the Social Space 'Partisan'", AMeeT, April 19, 2018, (http://www.ameet.jp/column/1600/).
*cf. "Related Information on the Serial Column 'An Approach to Urban Space and Autonomous Culture: Reports on Manchester's Zine Scene' (4 Episodes in Total)" (January 29‐, 2018)
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2020, "DIY Culture Scene and Accessibility: Ethos, Practices and Significance in That Relationship", AMeeT, March 24, 2020, (https://www.ameet.jp/column/2930/).
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2021, "The Potential of Archiving Practices of the Local Women's Liberation Movement Materials: Practical Experience in Kyoto in the 2000s and the Horizons That Lie Ahead", Mitsuaki Ono, Ryoko Kosugi and Takashi Matsui eds., The Movement History Opened up by Media (Social Movement History Studies: 3), Tokyo: Shin-yo-sha, 72-94.
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2023a, "Zines, Archiving and Activism: The Horizons Opened Up by Their Interlocking Developments (1) Essential Issues in Collection, Preservation and Publication", AMeeT, May 10, 2023, (https://www.ameet.jp/digital-archives/4628/). *4 Episodes in Total
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2023b, "Zines, Archiving and Activism: The Horizons Opened Up by Their Interlocking Developments (2) DIY Archiving Practices by 56a Infoshop (The First Part)", AMeeT, July 1, 2023, (https://www.ameet.jp/digital-archives/4719/). *4 Episodes in Total
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2023c, "Zines, Archiving and Activism: The Horizons Opened Up by Their Interlocking Developments (3) DIY Archiving Practices by 56a Infoshop (The Latter Part)", AMeeT, August 3, 2023, (https://www.ameet.jp/digital-archives/4758/). *4 Episodes in Total
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2023d, "Zines, Archiving and Activism: The Horizons Opened Up by Their Interlocking Developments (4) Grounds and Structures That Librarians and Archivists Have Worked Together to Build", AMeeT, November 11, 2023, (https://www.ameet.jp/digital-archives/4939/). *4 Episodes in Total
◇White, Sarah, 2024, "A Zine Brings Community Data to Vibrant Life", Conservation Law Foundation, February 9, 2024, (https://www.clf.org/blog/a-zine-brings-community-data-to-vibrant-life/).

Murakami, Kiyoshi *Excluding those listed above

◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2022, "The Current Development of Zine Culture and Its Significance: Viewed from the Perspective of Feminist Community Activism", Ritsumeikan Studies in Language and Culture, 33(3): 39-51. (February 28, 2022 / International Institute of Language and Culture Studies, Ritsumeikan University)
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2021, "Zines as Media and Activism, and Feminist Practices: Its Diverse Possibilities Beyond Just Making", Tohko Tanaka ed., Girls' Media Studies, Tokyo: Hokuju Suppan, 130-148 (Chapter 9).
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2020, "Zines in Anarcha-Feminism: Zines Being as Education/Space", Gendai-Shiso, 48(4): 160-168 *March 2020 Extra Edition: Feature Articles "Feminism Today"
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2019, "A Brief Exposition of Zines [Seventh Draft]", arsvi.com, November 7, 2019, (http://www.arsvi.com/2010/20180906mk.htm).
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2018, "[Lecture Material] Connecting with Asian Zine Scene: What I Refered to in East Nine Zine Circle #02", arsvi.com, September 22, 2018, (http://www.arsvi.com/2010/20180922mk.htm).
◇Nishiyama, Atsuko (DIRTY) and Kiyoshi Murakami, 2016, "To Make Use of Zine as 'Our' Property: An Approach to Feminist Zines and That Potential Possibilities" (Dialogue Article), Ars Vivendi, 9: 196-226. (Special Feature 3: The Present of Feminist Zines)
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2016a, "Thinking about Feminist Zines Now", Ars Vivendi, 9: 188-194. (Special Feature 3: The Present of Feminist Zines)
◇Murakami, Kiyoshi, 2016b, "Report: Asian Zinester Asylum (September 13, 2016 / Shinjuku, Tokyo)", arsvi.com, September 23, 2016, (http://www.arsvi.com/2010/20160923mk.htm).

◇Glasgow Women's Library, 2024, "Zine Display: Music Zines", Glasgow Women's Library, April 1, 2024, (https://womenslibrary.org.uk/event/zine-display-music-zines/).=2024,村上潔訳,「ジン展示:《ミュージック・ジン》」,arsvi.com:立命館大学生存学研究所,2024年4月11日,(http://www.arsvi.com/2020/20240411mk.htm
◇Palisades Branch Library, 2024, "Please Join Us on Monday, April 1st … for #LAZineClub", Facebook, March 14, 2024, (https://www.facebook.com/palisadeslapl/posts/733997422176114).=2024,村上潔訳,「〈ジンズ・フォー・クィアズ[Zines4Queers]〉について」,arsvi.com:立命館大学生存学研究所,2024年3月18日,(http://www.arsvi.com/2020/20240318mk.htm
◇Knight, Rosie, 2018, "How Zine Libraries Are Highlighting Marginalized Voices", BuzzFeed News, December 30, 2018, (https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/rosieoknight/zines-libraries-marginalized-voices).=2019,村上潔訳,「ジン・ライブラリーはいかにして周縁化された声を強調しているのか」,arsvi.com:立命館大学生存学研究所,2019年8月29日,(http://www.arsvi.com/2010/20190829mk.htm
◇Casio, Holly, 2017, "The Economy of Zines", Cool Schmool, March 9, 2017, (https://coolschmool.com/news/economy-of-zines).=2018,村上潔訳,「ジンの経済」,arsvi.com:立命館大学生存学研究所,2018年6月20日,(http://www.arsvi.com/2010/20180620mk.htm

"Zines: The Diversity and Potential of Its World (2)" *Thematic Catalog* 2022/09/05‐
"Zines: The Diversity and Potential of Its World (1)" *Thematic Catalog* 2019/12/16‐2022/08/31

■Q & A

[…]

■紹介[Introductory Article]

◇Violet, 2024, "Presentation on the Locality of Zine Culture", zinelibraries.info, July 5, 2024, (https://www.zinelibraries.info/presentation-on-the-locality-of-zine-culture/).

■Acknowledgment: After the Presentation

去る6月12日、東京外国語大学大学院総合国際学研究科の《学術英語演習1》という授業(担当教員:中井杏奈さん/授業テーマ:"Public History and Information Dissemination: Podcasting, Self-Publishing and Beyond")で、ゲスト講師として講義を行ないました(この回の授業はZoomで実施)。講義資料がこのページになります。受講生は全員「非日本語ネイティヴ」で、多様な関心とバックボーンをもつ人々でしたが、みな意欲的で鋭い応答(質問/コメント)を返してくれました。結果として、私のほうが大いに勉強になりました。貴重な機会をいただけたことに感謝します。
(July 1, 2024 / Kiyoshi Murakami)


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