Looking for a way to unwind after finals or a day at work? It might be easy to dismiss zines as kitschy, but flipping through one is like reading a book and walking into an art exhibit at the same time.
Zines have long provided platforms for communities to share their stories, both with each other and with the world. If you’re looking for something new to read, listen to or watch, take a look at six of our favorite API-centric zines. A long standing literary tradition that has roots in do-it-yourself culture, zines are more than just a pop culture trend. They’re homegrown cultural artifacts—bite-sized little publications.
Here are our top six, API-related zines you should check out:
Based in Honolulu, “Tropic Zine” is an annual art-focused publication that connects the culture of Hawaii and other tropical locales worldwide. The zine is a growing collective that “embraces chaos” and explores the different ways to express one’s identity. The website is a work of art in itself, with pages that are filled with swirling photographs and overlaid in lurid pinks and greens.
2. Sine Theta
“Sine Theta” (or “sinθ”) is the only international, print-based publication made by and for members of the Chinese diaspora. The zine publishes on a quarterly basis according to the lunar calendar, and explores Chinese-related identity issues through poetry, prose, narrative essays and visual art. The publication’s aesthetics are on point, with a sleek, minimalist look.
3. Buah Zine
Published exclusively online, “Buah Zine” strives to connect and build an internet community of people with Indonesian heritage through stories, interviews and catchy music (which you can catch on their “Indo mixtape” playlists), no matter where they are in the world.
4. Daikon* Zine
Although it was founded as a platform for Southeast and East Asian women and non-binary people living Europe, people living in the States can also benefit from the crosscultural connection and solidarity that can be found in “Daikon* Zine.” By providing helpful resources and a creative outlet for underrepresented voices, this zine cultivates a wider sense of intersectionality and solidarity within Asian diasporic communities.
“Hungry Ghosts Club” pays homage to its creators’ roots in the 626 neighborhood of Southern California. Want a map of the best hangout spots in the 626? This zine has you covered. Want to read some #relatable stories straight from the minds of young API individuals? “Hungry Ghosts Club” has plenty of those too! Celebrating immigrant narratives through the lens of the second generation and beyond, this publication focuses on youth culture and collectivism, with touches of both new and old.
Based in Austin, Texas, Silk Club created “QUIET!” to subvert tropes that Asian American women, femmes, and non-binary people are introverted. This zine creates a space where intersectional identities are embraced and empowered, while forging new connections between different Asian cultures.