Mumbai: Spend your weekend Zines to reveal the unseen
Still making Saturday night plans? How about a blind date with zines?
If blind dates make you nervous and your idea of a perfect evening is curling up with a good book, this might just be the thing for you. Here's introducing one of the most unique literary shindigs yet in the city — a blind book date with zines.
What are zines, you may ask. Short for magazines or fanzines, they refer to independently published booklets of stories and images that often break free of traditional publishing norms in both form and content. And how is it a blind date? Each of the booklets will be wrapped in brown paper, giving no clue to the author's identity, the cover art or title, but will only list a few hints about the content. On Saturday, head to The Den in Bandra for a tryst with zines with a focus on narratives from the LGBT+ community, in a first-of-its-kind event hosted by Gaysi Family in collaboration with The Blind Book Date (TBBD).
"Zines are a more open, experimentative space where the reader is also involved in the experience. They are generally more intimate in their writing, and often have visual elements too. It's not just about reading, but experiencing the writing," says Laxmi Krishnan, founder at TBBD. The idea sprouted when Niyati Joshi, editor at Gaysi, attended one of their events. "Gaysi produces at least one new zine every year, but they are still very niche. Primarily, the purpose of this event is to introduce zines to the audience," says Joshi.
Behind the zines
The unconventional medium lends itself well to queer narratives. "There are all kinds of stories; some that feature the artist's coming out story, or their struggle with understanding their own identity and sexuality," says Joshi, as Krishnan tags in, "In others, the queer identity is not the central plot point, but just something discovered by the reader in the process of reading the zine."
But it's not just going to be a Zines 101, emphasises Joshi. It promises to be a night of conversation among like- minded people over drinks. What's more, each participant will get to take home a free zine. "The idea is to bring a community of readers together. We tend to be in a corner and read by ourselves. Reading is very important in developing empathy, but these days, people don't have time and aren't reading nearly enough," says Joshi.
Laxmi Krishnan and Niyati Joshi
On April 20, 5 pm to 7 pm
At The Den, 24th Road, off Linking Road, Bandra West.
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