A zine library opens in Hamburg to give visitors access to global DIY publications

Newly launched Hamburg gallery Raum für Illustration has opened a zine library as part of city-wide publication fair, which runs until 8 December. Amassing work via an open call through Instagram, the new library includes more than 500 self-published zines from 25 countries. Visitors will be able to browse the zines at a special reading room during the book fair, while after the festival, the publications will form the basis of a publicly accessible library in the gallery which will continue to grow through contributions and acquisitions.

Raum für Illustration has been established by Beate Pietrek, the art director of Zeit Campus, the student magazine of German newspaper Die Zeit, and Philipp Schultz, art director of Zeit Leo, Die Zeit’s kids magazine, who are currently on a sabbatical from their day jobs. Speaking to It’s Nice That about the decision to focus on DIY publications for the library, Pietrek says, “Zines are a wonderfully unfiltered form of print. If you have something to say, make a zine! They can be imperfect and rough, but also fancy and clean – just like the makers. Everybody can do what they want.”

“A zine is a way of giving shape to an idea,” adds Schultz, “whether it’s spontaneous and fast or well thought out. The motivation to make a zine is not the money but the passion, the fun and the idea behind it. In addition, the zine as an object is a work of art. The paper, the print, the smell. It is something very special and therefore the work makes a deep impression.”

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