Santa Fe Zine Fest
Saturday, May 20 // The Living Room Gallery // 11am-5pm // Free
On Saturday, May 20th, local writers, artists, and zine publishers will gather in CCA’s Living Room Gallery for the first annual Santa Fe Zine Fest. It's a zinester's dream come true, and it’s also a perfect introduction to the world of small publishing for those tired of the mainstream press. Attendees are encouraged (but not required) to bring their own zines for trade and will have the opportunity to engage with Santa Fe’s zine makers, as well as its emerging arts and DIY communities.
A “zine,” which is short for magazine or fanzine, is a small-circulation, self-published booklet, usually reproduced using a photocopier. They’re distinct from other self-published books in that zine publishers—or zinesters—trade or sell their zines very inexpensively. The intention isn’t to make a profit but to share writing, ideas, or art. The term “zine” can be traced back to the pulp science fiction arena of the 40s and 50s. Later, the punk scene of the 70s and the Riot Grrl movement of the early 90s popularized zines written about politics, music, and personal issues. But the beauty of zines is that they can be almost anything—poetry, photography, art, personal essays, music reviews, recipes… the possibilities are endless.
With the rise of the internet and blogs, zines experienced a lull in the late 90s and early 00s. But recently they’ve been embraced by a new generation, and zine festivals like Santa Fe’s have been popping up all over the country, allowing new and established zinesters to share their gems with the public.
Here in New Mexico, joining ranks with longstanding zine festivals in places like Portland and San Francisco, Albuquerque Zine Fest has been running six years strong. But despite renewed excitement about zines, local writer, zine publisher, and Santa Fe Zine Fest founder Bucket Siler was initially unsure how much interest there would be in having a festival locally.
“I figured Santa Fe Zine Fest’s first year would be pretty small,” says Siler, who joined forces with Stranger’s Collective co-founder Kyle Farrell and CCA’s Erica Nguyen to cook up the event. “I was totally unprepared. Tables filled up within a week, and applications were still pouring in after the deadline. In the beginning, I thought I’d be scrambling to find people to participate. Now we have a waitlist a page long.”
Hosted in CCA’s cozy Living Room Gallery, Santa Fe Zine Fest will feature upwards of 24 zine publishers showcasing over 100 zines. In addition to local zines, publishers are traveling from as far away as San Antonio, Las Cruces, and Denver. “It’s a great mix,” Siler says. “We’ll have personal zines, photo zines, poetry, DIY instructional zines, fiction, illustration… Some of the exhibitors have been at this for 20 years, others are publishing their first zine for the festival.”
Among the many zines that will be showcased are Life Raft, a local feminist zine; Saytown Review, a San-Antonio-based literary arts zine; The Non-Binary Coloring Book; and Adventures with Pancakes, a gluten-free cookbook. Exhibitors include Israel F Haros Lopez, Strangers Collective, Denver Zine Library, Jacks McNamara, Anastasio Wrobel, Yvette Serrano, Marie Claire Bryant, Kelly Shortandqueer, Lindsay Payton, and many more.
“I’m hoping Santa Fe Zine Fest can help nurture the zine community in Santa Fe, and introduce zines to people who haven’t heard of them,” says Siler. In future years, she wants to expand Santa Fe Zine Fest, adding workshops, readings, and a second day of the festival. But for now? “The response we’ve gotten has already far exceeded my expectations. I couldn’t imagine a more fabulous first year. My mind is completely blown.”
A performance by Cryin' Out Loud artists, Victory Grrrls, will occur concurrently in the Muñoz Waxman Gallery from 1-2pm.