Review of Archiving the Underground #1

8 Apr

From Amber Forrester:

J Bee and Jami had a really awesome idea when they came up with this one. This half-size zine contains interviews with several people on the ethics of archiving zines and using them as teaching tools and resources in academia. Those featured include Milo Miller of QZAP, Alison Piepmeier, who wrote the excellent book Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism last year, Jenna Freedman of the Barnard Zine Library and more. I was particularly interested in reading the interview with Fanzines author Teal Triggs, as she refused to respond to any of my messages in the recent past. As expected, she sort of skirted around the issue when questioned about the sneaky way in which she compiled her book (failing to ask permission of many of those whose work she included in the book, plus miscredits, factual errors and misrepresentations), instead referencing other people’s essays rather than stating her own opinions, questioning the existence of an “underground”, and stating that “the zine’s co-option into the mainstream is certainly nothing new,” effectively letting herself off the hook for doing something really shitty by asserting that she wasn’t the first person to do something really shitty. I find it very interesting that Teal Triggs is willing to grant interviews to other academics, and to “professional” magazines (like the most recent issue of Broken Pencil), whilst refusing to respond to emails from the very zinesters whose work she included in her book. Yet again, it is very telling of what she really thinks of us. Kudos to this zine’s editors for asking tough questions, and presumably not punching their computer screens in frustration, as I surely would have.

Thanks Amber, this is a really great review! If you contributed to Archiving the Underground #1 and you were not at the Chicago Zinefest, your copy will be in the mail shortly. There are also still copies available on Etsy and Stranger Danger Distro, as well as Quimby’s bookstore.

❤ jb


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