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The best zines in Eastern Europe | TOP 5

We love zines because they are about freedom: there are no rules, no expectations, no need for expertise, just a good idea. They can be about anything, divisive or marginal topics, art, music, politics, they can be funny or even very personal. Zines are distributed in a narrow circle, cheaply or for free, as they are not about making a profit, but about self-expression and artistic freedom. In our selection today, we present five exciting zines about music, feelings, burnout and corals.

Burnout Alphabet | Zsenya Olijnyik

Kyiv illustrator, Zhenya Olijnyik’s cool, red-and-yellow fanzine shows the burnout of those working in the cultural industry in alphabetical order.

Virágállatok | Paula Asztalos

Mushroom coral, horny coral, sun coral, brain coral—Paula draws attention to the uniqueness, beauty and indispensability of corals on the verge of extinction in a beautiful publication made with risograph printing.  

The decreasing number of corals is causing a change throughout the ecosystem: areas rich in diverse wildlife are being depleted and getting algal. Anthozoa (which is “virágállatok” in Hungarian, referring to the title—the translator’s note) are limestone organisms that use greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, to build their skeleton, meaning their carbon sequestration capacity is important to the biosphere. If we lose this »service«, our chances of preventing climate change will worsen.

acid techno | Karolina Kaczmarek

Polish graphic designer Karolina Kaczmarek’s work presents the history of techno from its beginnings to the present day. The contrasting, red-black-and-white illustrations in the publication suggest the technical and industrial nature of techno, and the simple layout and characteristic letters emphasize the futuristic feel of the project.

FOCUSED | Studio Modra

The Croatian Studio Modra zine revolves around online interpretations of the English term “focus”: its text is taken from the Urban Dictionary and its images are from Unsplash. The unique visual language of the publication is made humorous by the unusually placed verbal and visual references and contradictions.

Alive | Magdalena Konečná

Magdalena’s zine was born during the long quarantine we went through. She was inspired by the gaps in which one just sits in the room and stares at the wall trying to figure out what it really means to live. On the wonderful, calligraphic watercolors, she gathered thoughts and feelings that give hope in these empty moments.

Zsenya Olijnyik | Behance | Web | Instagram
Paula Asztalos | Behance
Karolina Kaczmarek | Behance
Studio Modra | Behance | Web | Instagram
Magdalena Konečná | Behance

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