A zine library opens in Hamburg to give visitors access to global DIY publications
The newly-launched Hamburg gallery Raum für Illustration has collected more than 500 zines from 25 countries, showing the breadth of talent in self-publishing.
- Laura Snoad
- 6 December 2019
Newly launched Hamburg gallery Raum für Illustration has opened a zine library as part of city-wide publication fair, which runs until 8 December. Amassing work via an open call through Instagram, the new library includes more than 500 self-published zines from 25 countries. Visitors will be able to browse the zines at a special reading room during the book fair, while after the festival, the publications will form the basis of a publicly accessible library in the gallery which will continue to grow through contributions and acquisitions.
Raum für Illustration has been established by Beate Pietrek, the art director of Zeit Campus, the student magazine of German newspaper Die Zeit, and Philipp Schultz, art director of Zeit Leo, Die Zeit’s kids magazine, who are currently on a sabbatical from their day jobs. Speaking to It’s Nice That about the decision to focus on DIY publications for the library, Pietrek says, “Zines are a wonderfully unfiltered form of print. If you have something to say, make a zine! They can be imperfect and rough, but also fancy and clean – just like the makers. Everybody can do what they want.”
“A zine is a way of giving shape to an idea,” adds Schultz, “whether it’s spontaneous and fast or well thought out. The motivation to make a zine is not the money but the passion, the fun and the idea behind it. In addition, the zine as an object is a work of art. The paper, the print, the smell. It is something very special and therefore the work makes a deep impression.”
A wide range of styles have been included in the collection, from Laur Pontak’s photocopied collection of raw black and white sketches to more polished publications, like Boys: A Zine with Corners by Kris Andrew Small. Textile designer and illustrator Steffi Bauer contributed a sewn zine made from printed fabric, while Connor Willumsen’s unbound zine is a 24-page comic printed in black on rose paper in an envelope. “The appearance is very loose, but the comic itself is very interlaced,” says Schultz.
“We are especially happy about the submission of Merieme Mesfioui’s Halal, which gathers the work of 28 artists from the AMEMSA world (African Middle Eastern Muslim and South Asian),” adds Pietrek. “In our Library, most entries come from America, Asia and Europe, so this makes our zine-world more completed. Unfortunately, Oceania is still missing.” The gallery will continue to accept submissions following the festival.