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Ama-zine creations

Celebrate International Women’s Day by making a zine.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Pens or pencils
  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • A4 paper
  • Scissors

 

Talk about zines

  1. The person leading the activity should explain that zines are short booklets that are self-published or produced by a small, independent publisher. They exist to share ideas. Groups of people who aren’t always listened to sometimes use zines to share their stories and get their voices heard.
  1. The person leading the activity should explain that, although zines have technically existed since people began to write, print, and share information, one reason they’re so popular is because of the 1991 underground, feminist punk movement riot grrrl. Riot grrrl encouraged girls and women to create zines and be heard.
  1. Everyone should think about why zines are a good way to spread messages. They could think about how they’re cheap to produce in small quantities and how anyone can make them, for example.

Plan your zine

  1. The person leading the activity should explain that International Women’s Day is all about celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness about women’s equality, trying to make things fairer, and fundraising for charities.
  1. Everyone should choose a theme relevant to International Women’s Day. They could choose a female role model, for example. Riot grrrl often made zines about inequality. What difficulties do women face today? How are women challenging inequality?
  1. Everyone should think about how their zine fits in with the theme of International Women’s Day 2021: #ChooseToChallenge. For example, their zine could challenge gender stereotypes by talking about people who break them down. 
  2. Everyone should decide what content they’ll include in their zine. It’s up to each person whether they write, draw, or both. They could include poems, comics, or drawings, for example. 

Fold your zine

You can find diagrams on page 60 of the spring term 2020 issue of Scouting magazine. You could also watch a YouTube video of how to fold a zine.

  1. The person leading the activity should follow the instructions below to show everyone how to make their own zine.
  1. Take the piece of paper and fold it in half from top to bottom.
  2. Fold in half from left to right, then the left and right edges in to meet the middle line.
  3. Open up the sheet, which should have eight rectangles on it.
  4. Fold the paper in half from left to right. Cut along the centre fold in the middle – the cut should be two rectangles wide and it shouldn’t make the zine fall apart.
  5. Fold it in half from top to bottom, along the centre fold you just cut.
  6. Take the left and right edges (keeping it folded) and push them together. The last double page will fold over the top of the other pages to become a cover.

Fill your zine

  1. Everyone should get creative and decorate their zine. It’s up to them whether they unfold it to work on it or whether they leave it folded.
  2. Once they’ve finished filling their zines, everyone should take it in turns to share what they’ve made. Who or what is it about? Is there a main message?
  3. Everyone should think about how their zine links to Scouts. For example, it may show one (or more) of the Scout values (integrity, respect, care, belief, and cooperation) or make a positive contribution to the world you live in.

Reflection

This activity was all about trying new things. Had anyone heard of a zine before this activity? Why were they so popular in the 1990s? People could think about their history as a way for women to get their voices heard. How else could people spread the messages of International Women’s Day?

This activity was also about respecting others. Who featured in people’s zines? Have these people always been respected? What difficulties were women experiencing in the 1990s? What issues do women face today?

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Online safety

Supervise young people when they’re online and give them advice about staying safe.

For more support around online safety or bullying, check out the NSPCC website. If you want to know more about specific social networks and games, Childnet has information and safety tips for apps. You can also report anything that’s worried you online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command.

As always, if you’ve got concerns about a young person’s welfare (including their online experiences), follow the Yellow Card reporting processes.

Scissors

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.