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March 09, 2019

8 Stalls You Must Swing By This Weekend At Bombay Zine Fest

Text by Sadaf Shaikh

Now in its third edition, one of the city’s most popular zine fests allows you to discover artists and their works that can broaden your viewpoint or just provide some much needed comic relief….

When Bombay Zine Fest started three years ago, it was more of a meta meet-up point for those who were interested in browsing through an oddly cool selection of self-published works that were reproduced via a photocopier and were associated with protests and movements. Zines hadn’t been popular in India until very recently but once they infiltrated the art realm, nobody could really ignore them. Bombay Underground, an organisation that began in 1999, stands for creating social change and its founders Aqui Thami and Himanshu S have been providing a platform for brilliant zines (including their own) for some time now. Presenting self-published ephemera like handbills and independent newspapers that provide a glimpse into the past, their annual zine fest attempts to provide a platform for the voice of marginalised individuals and groups which would otherwise be lost.

Starting today at Doolally Khar, Bombay Zine Fest will go on until Sunday with the weekend venue being shifted to Social, Todi Mills and if you’re someone that can learn to appreciate wry humour, cheeky visuals and empowering short stories, you should make it a point to bookmark this activity for your weekend itinerary. You can also interact with popular graphic designers and illustrators who will be displaying their zines at the fest and can speak to them about their work while perusing their art.

For simple navigation, we have drawn up a list of zine-makers you should keep an eye out for:

Priyanka Paul

Those who are acquainted with @artwhoring’s Instagram feed can spot her intelligently snarky and explicitly feminist art from a mile away. The young artist is inherently ‘woke’ and constantly takes to her Insta Stories to call out sexist behaviour. She will be showcasing her super-relatable Lice Lice Baby zine over the weekend which is a derisive take on the frustrating process of trying to rid your hair of a chronic lice problem.

Newman D’silva

@indrathe2nd’s art is characterised by fluorescent colours, whimsical figures and punchy one-line captions. If you think you want to own some cool art and display it in your room for visitors to think you exude somewhat of an eccentric vibe, D’silva’s art is right up your alley.

Nikaytaa

@nikaytaa takes her Instagram bio seriously. She calls herself a ‘sari researcher’ and her Fluid Sari Zine, which you can buy at Bombay Zine Fest, is a how-to guide on draping the unstitched sari. It offers five functional drapes which are suited for a variety of occasions and the instructions are in the form of illustrations that are accompanied by minimal text. Bonus: the zine also doubles up as a colouring book.

Amrietaa Arun

@amrietaa.art‘s Instagram feed is a journey of self-discovery and introspection, as is the zine that is available for purchase at the Bombay Zine Fest. Things That I Don’t Do Anymore is a self-explanatory, nostalgic account of all the activities that used to come very naturally to her earlier, but don’t anymore — smiling in pictures being one of them. My Diary Documented is a series where Amrietaa curates and strings together different notes from her diary under a binding theme where you get seven illustrations, five notes and a plethora of emotions.

Poorva Shingre

Replete with zines featuring women with kaleidoscope eyes and adorable pins, @poorvaroid‘s table at Bombay Zine Fest is bound to attract many patrons because of the artist’s expertise in feline paraphernalia. Including zines that highlight hypnotic eyes against a dark black sky and the bat cat pin, Shingre’s art appeals to the fancy of every millennial. Don’t miss #TheBabaSeries sketches she did for Inktober 2016 where she sketched her father during the simplest moments in his daily life — like the time he was making garlands and flew into a rage because his family refused to help him.

Bombay Duck Designs

One of the bigwigs in India’s art circuit, Sameer Kulavoor’s Bombay Duck Designs is an independent studio founded by the Indian illustrator & visual artist which focuses on the intersection of graphic design, contemporary illustration and art. Kulavoor has been creating a personal body of work, and self-publishing art books and zines that take a look at characteristic mannerisms & archetypal facets of urban surroundings, design and culture. Those who have an eye for art know him best for his portraits and sculptures that highlight the various idiosyncrasies of regular people going about their day.

The Chapess

The Chapess is a quarterly zine showcasing the work of women writers and artists from around the world. Since 2011, the zine has operated on an open submission policy with contributions coming from women of all ages and experience. Each issue of The Chapess underlines the need for opportunities for women artists to show their work, particularly those who have not taken a route of education or training which had otherwise encouraged them to do so.

Xem Skaters

Xem Skaters is a genderqueer skate zine that aims to give space to all genders in a binary environment by giving visibility to non-binary/queer/trans skaters, to introduce gender notions and knowledge in the skateboard community and ultimately open paths for individual identity-building within skateboarding. It features anything that is written, produced, created or photographed by genderqueer and genderqueer-friendly people that skate or have something to say about skateboarding and gender.

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