Photoblog Review: Youthitude Zine, Tattoo and Film Festival

What ever happened to the drama in our lives? In the quest to become the individual directors of its content, we've given up our roles as its muses.  More time spent photographing, producing and presenting ourselves online has equaled less time spent in front of the lens or in search of fresh material.

So it's great to see that the unashamed theatrics of simply being can still be found in a medium where all but self-expression have been removed.

In zine-land, there's no chance to edit, second-guess or overproduce the content we come up with.  This is where the zine gets its addictive, artistic appeal from.
"How to Become a Sea Creature in a Call Center" & other zines...

Zine culture as we know it had its countercultural boom in the 1970s & 1980s punk scene, with label-band Crass leading the charge.  In the 1990s, the zine diversified, with grrrl bands like Suckdog and ravers mingling with the hardcore punk zine crowd.

The zine even survived for quite a while after the birth of the Internet, probably because it was able to capture that elusive "live" element that was missing from most written word mediums.

"We spoke online but never met each other" & other zines...

The sloppy, spontaneous, last-minute feel of the zine was born out if sheer necessity: when writing one, your resources were always limited and a very quick turnaround time was imperative - it had to be out in time for next week's gig if you hoped to put your oar in about current affairs or promote an event. So, zine writers had to think fast and accept a certain amount of sloppiness and spontaneous add-ins.  Basically, zines could be rightly called the streetart of the writing world.  And they are becoming that again, in part thanks to zine fetishists like the kids (of all ages) who are behind Berlin's recent zine festivals, such as Youthitude.

Zine culture is going through a silent explosion; and yes, it is happening in every European language... or at least, all of the European languages that you'd hear spoken around Neukoelln.  At the festival, I saw French, Italian, Spanish, German and English zines.

Villa Curiosum Bar

In 2015 the zine has become much more refined and multitextured than the text-and-collage heavy 1990s stuff that I used to collect, with all kinds of artistic styles and materials that were never used before.  They were also never available before, I guess... or at least not as cheaply as they are now.  The new zine scene also seems to be more influenced more by intuition, LSD and surrealism, as well as a hefty dose of fine arts school.  But even with all the pre-fabrication involved in this new style, the raw edge hasn't been removed from the medium: what you commit to a zine's pages can still never be deleted, revised or edited. That's what makes it such a truthful record of the modern world and our feelings and ideas within it... and more necessary than ever, now that personal PR and online networking have started to cannibalize the content of our lives.

One of the patches on sale at the Punk Is Dada stall at Villa Curiosum summed it up:  the Youthitude festival is all about the 'post-Internet' movement. And it's getting bigger than you might think!

Don't believe me?  Well, if you get bored of reading the Sunday paper tomorrow or (more likely) fail to find any good reading on your friends' status updates on Facebook, get down to the Youthitude festival.  Doors open at Villa Curiosum at 12:00 and the zine, film and tattoo fair will go on until 19:00.  After that there will be a wicked after party with live bands and cheap drinks for all...

Take Unscene's word for it: checking out this textual vernissage is guaranteed to bring you back to life with a hit of intellectual adrenalin... and if that fails, well, there's always the hammering of a tattooists needle to wake you up!

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All writing & images © A. E. Elliott (unless otherwise specified)

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Berlin, Germany
...is NOT a fashion blogger! I write about underground music, activism, social media rights. Other publications that I have written for: OpenDemocracy, Urban Challenger, Siegesaeule, Alternative Berlin and Sensanostra.