Digital books might be thriving in this day and age, but print is still far from dead. And surely there is something nostalgic (romantic, even) about flipping through pages crafted from quality paper far thicker than those used to wrap hamburgers? Starting this week, look forward to two mini book fairs in Singapore that celebrates DIY and self-published works, also known as zines!

Singapore Art Book Fair

29 June to 1 July 2018, 12pm – 8pm | NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore

For the first time in five years, the popular Singapore Art Book Fair (SGABF) has gone fully independent, which means they are no longer associated or receiving financial aid or funding from any organisation or institution – government or otherwise. As the fair’s Festival Director Renée Ting explains, “This has given the fair complete freedom to reassess its vision of what is to be an art book fair that should be on par with major names like New York Art Book Fair and Tokyo Art Book Fair in the years to come.”

Bringing together some of the best in local and international art book publishing, look forward to exhibitors like Phaidon from the UK, twelvebooks and edition.nord from Japan, as well as the organisers of Bangkok Art Book Fair and Shanghai Art Book Fair.

Teaming up with Squelch Zines, SGABF will also present a Zine Room and Zine Library that provide a platform for 16 local zine makers to exhibit and sell their works. Meanwhile, the programme Publishing as Discourse, curated by NTU CCA Singapore, will explore the media of publishing as a discursive space through a series of presentations, conversations, and workshops together with international industry practitioners.

Click here for more details about Singapore Art Book Fair 2018. Entrance is free.

Queer Zinefest

July 14 2018, 12.30pm – 5.30pm | Camp Kilo Charcoal Club

With the freedom of independent publishing comes the freedom to express, and what better way for the queer community in Singapore to go all out than the inaugural Queer Zinefest? Organised by multiple-slam champion Stephanie Dogfoot, illustrator and cartoonist Joy Ho, multihyphenate Gabbi Wenyi Ayane, and performer and arts manager Akansha Aether, the event comes a week ahead of Pink Dot – an event in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Singapore.

“Queer Zinefest was inspired by how creation and being queer can have restrictions, filters and the authenticity of it all could be meddled with.” says Akansha. Her statement is further backed by Gabbi, who describes Queer Zinefest as “essentially a safe space for queer individuals, but also a space for non-queer people to come in and listen to what our community has to say. This kind of dialogue doesn’t often happen in our everyday lives because we’re constantly conscious of the fact we are a “controversial minority”, so everything we say has to be bubble-wrapped and sugar-coated.”

The fair goes beyond just a trade show of goods – there will be workshops on everything from drag to zinemaking and feminism, as well as five musicians (including Aeriqah, Chris Hong, and Jean Seizure) to entertain the crowd. For the perpetually well-dressed, you won’t want to miss out on the cute photobooth to capture the moment.

Click here for more details about Queer Zinefest. Entrance is free.