Perspectives Zine Library

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As part of this year's TEDxBrum #Perspectives event, we are excited to be inviting submissions for a Perspectives Zine Library to be installed at Birmingham Hippodrome. Curated by Illustrated Brum, this collection of creative artefacts from local, national and international makers will create space for over 1800 visitors to connect with this year's theme, and showcase the ideas, opinions, beliefs, hopes, fears and talents of their creators in order to share perspectives in an intimate, thoughtful way throughout the day.

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What is a Zine?

A zine (/ˈziːn/ ZEEN; short for magazine or fanzine) is most commonly a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via photocopier. Usually zines are the product of a single person, or of a very small group. Popularly defined as having a circulation of 1,000 or fewer copies, in practice many zines are produced in editions of fewer than 100.

Zines have served as a significant medium of communication in various subcultures. Topics covered are broad and ever expanding, and include fanfiction, politics, poetry, art and design, ephemera, personal journals, social theory, riot grrrl and intersectional feminism and any single-topic obsession.

Zines are typically experimental cultural fragments defined by being created and distributed outside mainstream publication centres. They have the opportunity to reach selected, specific audiences, and often create pockets of intimate, subcultural communities. In recent years a number of photocopied zines have risen to prominence or professional status and have found wide bookstore and online distribution, including Dazed & Confused, BUST and Rookie Mag.

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Why Is This Important?

In a cultural moment of divisions, and with many people increasingly disenfranchised by the mass media, zines allow us to create and consume alternative media created by each other. They allow us to distribute our ideas and our perspectives; our alternative vision for the world, without someone else signing it off.

We want to use this library to share a broad range of perspectives from across the city and beyond, and celebrate nuance, niche and personal expression as part of the biggest TEDx event Brum has ever seen. 

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Can I Make One?

Heck yes, anyone can make a zine! The easiest DIY zine can be made out of one folded sheet of A4 paper. We are also hoping share further resources at workshops in the run up to the event, so keep an eye out here.

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How To Submit

1. Select a zine that you have produced, (or make us something special if you're feeling inspired).

2. Complete this lovely zine submission form to tell us a little about you and your zine.

3. Package up a copy of your zine(s) carefully and send it in the post / drop it in to:

Perspectives Zine Library
Impact Hub Birmingham
Walker Building
58 Oxford Street
B5 5NR

Submission Notes

  • Unfortunately we cannot return any copies submitted to the Perspectives Zine Library, however we're excited to share that this collection will form the beginnings of a permanently housed zine library for the city.
  • In some cases we may be able to provide access to our Community Tickets for TEDxBrum 2017, so please let us know if you would like to attend the event on the day.
  • Please contact Illustrated Brum directly with any questions regarding your submission via

Deadline for zines to arrive into our open arms to ensure inclusion in the library is: Friday 13th October

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About Illustrated Brum - The Story So Far
Visual anecdotes of our relationship with the city.

Illustrated Brum launched back in 2013 as a blog to document the creative, cultural and social goings of the city to create an illustrated guide to Birmingham life. 'Through drawings, photographs, artefacts and ephemera we seek to capture the city around us and fly the flag for exciting things we come across, with intention to grow the project and allow others to do the same.'

After documenting crucial city moments like TEDxBrum DIY, Birmingham Fishmongers Championships and the closure of SNOBS (RIP), Illustrated Brum had the opportunity to run a project of their own design as part of mac birmingham's Next Gen programme. This exhibition and season of events was called One Hundred Thousand Welcomes, and gathered over 300,000 creative, cultural and social engagements in the form of welcomes. They later went on to work with producer Rosie Clements to co-design and facilitate her Outercircle project, hosting a space for young creative practitioners to explore their creative whereabouts.

On Thursday 16th June 2016, Illustrated Brum held a creative meet up as part of City Camp Brum to convene visual artists, illustrators, photographers, designers, makers and more to 'discuss what visual creatives in Birmingham want to see and how we might build it together', heralding a moment of evolution as they considered how their relationship with the city, too, had evolved.

Illustrated Brum are delighted to now be teaming up with TEDxBrum to share maker #perspectives, as well as more broadly reigniting a city zine conversation, with plans to bring back Birmingham Zine Festival in 2018. Sign up to their mailing list here to be notified of details for the first open meet up around building it.

See more at or connect with Illustrated Brum on facebook and twitter.


Further Reading