For many zinesters, a huge part of the lead up to the Festival of the Photocopier is making (or finishing) a new zine in time for the fair.
We knew that running the FoTP online wouldn't be the same as the real-life event but we wanted to foster the same kind of creativity and community connections so we created FotP-Swap! - a contact-free community zine swap, that allowed zinesters to still experience the thrill of the zine fair in a COVID-safe way.
The swap meant that zinesters were able to participate in a shared period of creation in the lead up to the fair, even though it wouldn't be happening in Sticky Institute like normal. The socially-distanced nature of this event meant that anyone within Australia could participate from wherever they were - which made the event all the more inclusive for zinesters living outside of Melbourne!
The idea was that the swap would both be a challenge (in that you had to make your own zine) and a reward (in that you'd receive 10 new zines lovingly made by other zinesters in parallel timelines).
In place of the usual shop hang-outs, Sticky Institute hosted virtual hangouts for the participants, so zinesters could connect with each other, ask questions and share what they were working on. These virtual hangouts also meant that zinesters from across the country could connect with each other.
Here are some of the zine covers from our first FotP-Swap! We can't wait to host another swap like this again!