Claremont Zinefest Highlights Student Identities And Creativity

Hundreds visit the Claremont Zinefest at the Claremont Packing House on April 22 as artists exhibit their self-published, small-circulation, zines. (Austin Huang • The Student Life)

The open doors of the Claremont Packing House let in as many curious visitors as waves of 90 degree heat, as local artists and activists convened to trade, sell, and share their creations at Claremont Zinefest on April 21. Zinefest showcased zines — independent magazines and publications that use writing and artwork — supporting social resistance and expression of marginalized identities.

A spread of stickers, buttons, posters, postcards, and zines decorated tables hosted by dozens of zinesters. Tablers included individual artists, representatives for large(ish)-scale zine distributors/publishers (known as “distros”), as well as 5C student artists and representatives for on-campus identity groups like Pitzer College’s MIX. Select zinesters offered readings of their works in the Claremont Forum bookstore, while students hosted zine- and button-making workshops for visitors.

The event was organized by students in the Pitzer Asian American studies class Zines, Creativity and Community, taught by Professor Todd Honma. Planning was supported by Eric Nakamura, current owner and former editor of Giant Robot, an Asian American pop culture zine-cum-magazine-cum-pop art gallery and store. Linda Lam, director of the Center for Asian Pacific American Students at Pitzer, also assisted organizing. Claremont Zinefest is hosted in the Packing House every spring Spring, when Homna's class is offered.