The Top Five Latino Fanzines on politics, identity and DIY culture
While a digital future is certain, there is a small sect of publishing still in the spirit of "Do it yourself."
Zines have always had a niche fascination in the publishing world. For a long time, the only way to get to them was through reviews, but as many grew up, they were also donated or discarded along with comics. However, it didn't mean the end of the niche, and there were facts, opinions, and sentiments of people recorded in zines that never see the light of day in today's digitized, mainstream media.
In academic terms, fanzines have two advantages over traditional books. The first is that they work as termite art — a name for acts of cultural communication without much feedback that allow for the construction of a personal and intimate universe that does not have to bend to the imperatives of the market. This happened for many years before Robert Crumb or Harvey Pekar became famous.
The second reason is also closely related to the freedom of escape from the needs and risks involved in the market's strictly commercial laws. An infinite number of manuscripts and biographies reach publishers, but the paradoxical dictatorship of the majority excludes them from their own cultural publishing system. With that in mind, here are five Latino zines you must check out.
An authentic musical underground zine from Chile. It features interviews and articles of bands of all kinds of punk and hardcore, reviews of demos, and old school covers. We recommend for nostalgia and music lovers.
Created by the Kolectivo Contracultural Las Chapas in Pachamama, Argentina, the publication is a worthy heir to the anti-psychiatric tradition of the previous century. Anti-psychiatry is a humanist discipline and one of the greatest examples of the narratives made possible by the existence of the zines, which allowed critical voices to converge with the psycho-pharmacological monopoly of mental health.
Also from Chile comes this zine that is the result of the coordination of several Usach journalists. It is a tool to share their writings, and a laboratory of new voices dealing with everything from stories and poems to essays.
Another example of the importance of anti-psychiatry in the universe of zines, also from Argentina. It is a more intimate aspect that allows all kinds of self-reflective collaborations on mental health, asylums, and mutual care.
Zines not only collect critical thinking and marginal music, but also cover art that moves in a similar vector. And there is not an art form more marginalized and criminalized than graffiti and urban painting, which is immortalized by photography in this magazine from Santiago.