Zines: how going old-tech produced an explosion of creativity

Thursday 26th June, 11:10 to 11:40


Simon Pipe, Dr Bianca Wright

Warning: you may be mildly entertained in this session. And possibly inspired.

Students are increasingly being asked to master the use of industry-standard technology. But does the latest software actually get in the way of creativity, and learning the craft skills that underlie many jobs? That is certainly a concern in the media industry.

First-year students on Journalism and Media courses at Coventry were recently asked to put their laptops away and instead use coloured pens, scissors, glue and even potatoes (for potato printing). Their task was to begin learning about magazine production by making zines – amateur publications, often hand-written and drawn, on themes such as science fiction or music. They were then asked to adapt their content for a conventional magazine, recognizing the differences between the two genres.

The resulting zines – which will be on display at the session – surprised and delighted their tutors. The level of creativity brought out in the students was an unexpected by-product of putting aside the technology.

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