Who are you? Where are you based?
My name is Julia Koschler, I’m a graphic designer and artist and I run a zine library in Munich, Germany. I also organize free zine workshops.
What are zines to you?
Zines are a medium to own my voice and speak up. A way to publish without filter. They are also a way to get in touch with communities and people that I might not have met otherwise.
What was your first encounter with zines?
I have some friends that make zines, so I first learned about zines by reading theirs. Then 2017 I went to a concert by the Riot Grrrl Band Dream Nails and they sold some wonderful zines there, which inspire me to this day. I then decided to make some zines myself and also quickly wanted to share my newly learned skills with other people. So I organized my first workshop in May 2019.
Tell me about your zines. What kind of zines do you make? What inspires you to create them?
I’ve made lots of zines, for many different reasons. I like to self-publish information that is difficult to access in more mainstream publications, acknowledge the fact that we all have lives and voices that are worth knowing about, hearing about, and reading about. The majority of my zines are from a queer feminist perspective on art and culture.
Usually, it’s to share information and individuals voices that are under-represented in culture. I sometimes also make perzines about my raw emotions and feelings
What’s your favorite thing about zines?
I love that anybody can create them, so I can hear about and learn from oppressed voices that would otherwise not be amplified. There is so much freedom in making zines and they can look so different! Also, it’s so lovely that someone invested so much time, energy, and love into the creation of their zine. It’s such a wonderful feeling to hold and read these small (and often very personal) pieces of art.
Do you recall your first zine ever, what was it about and what inspired you to create it?
My first zine was about body acceptance and boobs. I made it because I feel like different shapes and sizes of boobs are very underrepresented in mainstream media.
Tell me a little about your zine-making process.
I do a lot of classic cut ‘n’ paste zines and write texts on the computer or on my typewriter. I’ll usually start a zine, put it down, and finish it later whenever I want to. I create in whichever way is most comfortable for me and that gives me a lot of freedom and also often feels very therapeutic. I also do clean typesetting and lay-outing most of my time at work and I enjoy doing the opposite in my zines and being imperfect.
What do you hope people get out of your zines?
I hope people feel seen when they read my zines. I hope they feel solidarity. I hope they learn things or start rethinking old patterns. And most importantly empowerment!
Name two of your favorite zinesters.
Oh well, two aren’t enough! Some of my favorite zines are from @youarevaliddistro a Berlin-based collective of people making zines about bodies, desire, and relationships by and for queer feminists who challenge the gender binary. I also really love Sweeney Browns / @art_is_dirty zines (and basically all their art). They are very raw and emotional and also usually for free.
Do you have any advice for new zinesters?
Don’t worry about perfection when making zines, it’s all about having fun and being creative. You don’t have to be good at artistic things to enjoy them!
Is there a zine website or resource you would recommend new zinesters to check out?
Go to a nearby zine library or small publishing and zine fares. You will get a lot of inspiration there and can support some fellow creatives.
Just browsing on social media and searching for #zines is interesting too. You can also check out Etsy for ideas.
Interview conducted by Solansh M.
Photos provided by Julia K.