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When our country went into a strict lockdown last year I, like many people, had grand plans of productivity. I thought I’d finally get making art again and I just… couldn’t. It felt pointless, when the world had been turned upside down, to keep making things like I did when life was normal.

And then came #quaranzine. It was an online celebration of zines, and I had a couple of ideas forming into a zine concept:

1. A children’s diary workbook to record their experience of lockdown.

2. Our staff newsletter, sharing tidbits from different members of staff.

The original six, made in the early weeks of lockdown in Aotearoa.

I combined the two, creating a newsletter-style perzine, and made the first one on a Facebook live video as part of the “Quaranzinefest”. It reflected what I love so much about making zines – a low pressure art form that’s personal and expressive. There’s now seven, made at different “alert levels” (that’s our traffic light system for how strict the lockdown is). I want the last one to be at Level Zero, though right now I don’t know if we’ll ever get there!

I’m hopping on a plane soon, so perhaps there’ll be another issue up my sleeve before then.

By Z. R. Southcombe

writer, artist, teacher (and other things)

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