Food culture zines challenging power.
Zines are 'having a moment'. From big brand HQs to basement studios, it seems that everyone is trying their hand at the hands-on, rough-and-ready process of zine-making these days.
There are zines about everything. From politics to physics to poetry to porn. The beauty being in the niches. It's in the intersections where the real action happens.
Food and politics might not sound like the most natural pairing, but what's more universal, more changeable, more vital or more powerful the world over than eating?
CHINESE PROTEST RECIPES
The brainchild of Clarence Kwan – better known by his Instagram handle, @thegodofcookery – and put together with help from Ronald Tau’s Meat Studios, CHINESE PROTEST RECIPES combines the arts of resistance and of traditional Cantonese cooking in one visually arresting publication.
It’s a powerful lesson in the art of doing – and protecting – what you love. It’s also a brilliant exercise in branding from Tau. True to its radical roots, a PDF of the zine is available for free.
An acronym for One of My Kind, OOMK – which focuses on the 'imaginations, creativity and spirituality of women'. OOMK brings food to the forefront for its sixth issue, examining the cultural, personal and political complications that food (and, of course, the act of eating it) can either cause or address.
As they put it themselves: this is 'food as art, enemy, friend and refuge. Forever food'.
Described by design arbiters It's Nice That as a 'loud and proud zine dedicated to Asian food and culture'. FatBoy is exactly that.
Hinging on memory, family and the imperfect human side of eating, FatBoy is a zine not just about food and culture but, more significantly, about food culture; its significance and why we cannot afford to lose it or allow it to be homogenised.
RECIPES FOR RESISTANCE
A mammoth collaborative undertaking, this zine uses all the talent at its disposal to bring together illustration, photography, poetry, journalism, essays, and – of course – recipes to explore food in direct relation to vital topics like culture, migration and collective memory.
REAL CHINESE FOOD
Sarula Bao's REAL CHINESE FOOD broaches a host of difficult topics: dual identities, diaspora, shame, racism and assimilation – all through the lens of Chinese food.
In bold colours and seemingly innocuous exchanges, Bao succinctly illustrates not only her own complicated relationship with the eponymous cuisine, but also the disparaging and alienating attitudes of her predominately white friends.