Zines with superpowers

In the shadow of Grenfell, local children make pages for a magazine workshop. By Oswin Tickler

The devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in West London in June 2017 is still having a profound effect on the local community, writes Oswin Tickler.

Staff from the journalism and publishing courses at UAL London College of Communication recently helped run a zine-making workshop for children whose school neighbours the tower. Thirty local children participated in the scheme to create a zine as part of a programme of summer activities at the Playground Theatre in Latimer Road. The workshop was organised by Grief Encounter, a UK charity founded in 2003 that supports bereaved children and their families.

In the workshop, each child created a page (some created a complete fanzine) based around the theme of ‘superheroes’, whether ‘real’ (Wonder Woman or Flash), or their own creation (Animal Girl). They used a variety of approaches, including handwriting, drawing, stencils and rub-down lettering. Some used old magazines and coloured paper to create collaged pages – sequins and feathers also made an appearance on a few spreads.

The pages were then scanned and turned into a zine on site, under the children’s supervision. They were then printed at the London College of Fashion. By the end of the day each of the children had a printed and bound copy of the zine – with everyone’s work in it – that they could take home. For most of them this was their first experience of publishing.

More information about the work of Grief Encounter, can be found at: www.griefencounter.org.uk

A digital version of Fantazine can be found on the Make A Mag website: www.makeamag.co.uk

This was originally written for the Eye Magazine blog.