02 Apr The Cape Town Zine Project
The Cape Town Zine Project was started in July 2012 by artist and comic book maker, Sebastian Borckenhagen. It began with weekly zine workshops held at the Bijou Theatre in Obs. Whoever was interested in making their own booklets could hang out once a week and be productive.
In the beginning almost nobody involved had made a booklet before but things started to change drastically after Afrikaburn, who had kindly let the group use their offices at night, lent their Risograph printer to the project. Sebastian says, “The printer is cheap, can print up to A3 and on newsprint (cheap, thin, beautiful paper). We printed one or two booklets, and once peeps started getting an idea of what was possible, the amount of zines being printed took off.”
As a result a wide range of zines came out of the project quickly and the first zine market took place at the Book Lounge in November 2012. Almost 100 publications were for sale on the night, 30 of these being Cape Town Zine Project publications. The rest were by local zine-heavyweights Jungle Jim (the African pulp-fiction magazine whose editor Jenna Bass is closely involved in the CTZP), Black Koki, Ello, Jean De Wet and Sebastian himself. He says, ‘The turnout for the market was fantastic. We sold hundreds of booklets, from poster-books, to comics, to flip-books, to tracts on the architecture of the Western Cape, to astronaut trading cards, to Norwegian graffiti colouring-in books.” The second Cape Town market took place in February this year.
As part of the project Sebastian is trying to start an accessible zine library and archive. He says, “We’ve got a copy of all of the publications that have been made at the workshops. We’ve also traded zines with the Hip Hip Atelier in Sofia, Bulgaria and Studio One 11 in British Columbia, Canada. Hopefully in the future we’ll have a large collection of zines from around the world, hosted somewhere in Cape Town, accessible to anyone with an interest in small scale publishing.”
Sebastian is currently setting up a Joburg version of the project at the Keleketla! Library at the Drill Hall. If you’re in Joburg and would like to take part, there are more details on the Facebook event page.
Above is a video made by Aurora Hannisdal from Oslo. Behind the Zines documents a night of zine making at one of the Bijou Theatre workshops and features the making of Joachim Thorendahl’s International Haircuts for… the Big Boyz, Jenna Bass’s South African Mail Order Brides: A Catalogue and Atang Tshikare’s bicycle zine.