The Arts Curating students at Istituto Marangoni Firenze launched a workshop for the Open School: Visions Disclosure. This workshop included creating a fanzine, a DIY magazine everyone could join in to exchange ideas and share their thoughts by creating their own collages.
by Isabella Chevasco Champsaur and Camila Heredia Oranday. Photographs by Massimo Romanelli.
Art and fashion are intrinsic to the school’s structure. Many courses work in parallel to each another, as well as the ideas in the minds behind them. Still, art and fashion unite them all.
The recent Open School day served as a vessel for connection, where students and staff from all areas spent time together without the pressure of upcoming classes or meetings. Everyone could participate in various student-led activities and make new friends from other courses.
The second year of the Arts Curating undergraduate course is dedicated to the editorial process, with writing, publishing, and graphic design classes. Along with inventing books, magazines and card games in their own time, the students came up with the idea of hosting a fanzine workshop.
FANZINE, FOR DUMMIES
Fanzines are booklets printed and published independently. They marked a point of no return in young people’s societal and institutional emancipation during the punk era. With no guidelines, filters or institutionally imposed limits, students and their particular organisations found the perfect structure to communicate their ideas to the world. This newfound independence opened the way for a youth-led revolution through publishing.
Today, fanzines remain a tool for expression that is as important as ever. Anyone can make a zine from the simplest stationary supplies. With this in mind, Arts Curating students converted a classroom into a gigantic fanzine-making session. This workshop came to life through magazine clippings, fabric scraps, markers, and a Spotify queue open for all to step in with their own styles.
FANZINE, FOR US
The main goal of this workshop was to stimulate the creativity of as many Istituto Marangoni Firenze students and staff as possible. There was no rule aside from using a common page format and no prompt aside from the energy flourishing in the room throughout the day. The possibilities of what this fanzine could look like were endless. Depending on their intentions, people gathered what caught their attention and shoved them around in mood boards and collages.
Even though everyone had different ideas, they helped each other look for stuff that the other might like or be able to use. As the afternoon waved in, pictures of what was happening outside the zine room, like the Multimedia Arts open studio or the DJ set in the library, were printed and delivered to the workshop. This was the only missing piece of material.
FANZINE, TO YOU
Nearing the end of the day, the curators gathered all the pages and ran upstairs for the most challenging part of the process – putting together the fanzine! Students and tutors scanned one sheet after another. Upon collecting all the material, executive decisions needed to be made. One of the few things that were clear from the beginning was that the setup would be reprinted on A3 paper of different colours, which would be folded and sewn together to create multiple A4 pages.
The original collages and mood boards were made in full colour. Still, it was fun to play with the printer’s ink levels, altering them so that the scans printed only black and magenta. An assembly line emerged on the second floor, with some participants passing the prints downstairs. They were responsible for deciding the order of the pages and following it up. Several students (and Carolina Gestri) were in charge of folding the pages in half and securing the folds with heavy rulers borrowed from the pattern-making lab. Another two students made rounds to the sewing room and back, carrying the assembled zines. In the sewing room, they were bound and, essentially, finished.
After a day of arranging and rearranging, the fanzine was done. The amount of copies produced is undefined, as zines are still being printed for all participants. Nevertheless, the satisfaction of carrying out such an exciting project remains unchanged, as well as the friendships made during the session. The most rewarding part, after all, was to see different tastes, aesthetics, and ideas come together.
Isabella Chevasco Champsaur and Camila Heredia Oranday are Arts Curating undergraduate students at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.
Massimo Romanelli is an Art Management postgraduate student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.