Unleashing student creativity through zines

Supporting students to unleash their creativity and share their stories through zines.

Name of project: City Zine

The challenge 

The library team at the City of Glasgow College has been working with some of the college’s 27,000 students to explore how they can build a safe and welcoming space together.

When the library first re-opened following the pandemic, students told staff that the library was a haven for them before many other support departments at the college had opened. The library team started providing small workshops in mindful journaling to help students express their thoughts and emotions following the pandemic.

The initiative

The library team wanted to move beyond their supportive role for students and explore how to develop an authentic conversation. They researched the value of zines and found potential in the zine ethos of freedom of thought, and a DIY attitude to publishing. 

City Zine’s mission is to encourage, collect and curate zines by students and staff members. They have developed a creative safe space where students are free to express their experiences and viewpoints and provide a welcoming environment for them to experience the collection and read about others’ views on life on a myriad of topics.

They have held sessions with a blind queer creative who has recently created their own poetry book and a young published author, as well as co-hosting sessions with the Glasgow Zine Library. These events enable the students to be inspired and have confidence in their own unique voices.

The Europe Challenge has made it possible to curate over 200 zines from students, to host events and sessions that discuss zines and creativity, and to support students to share their stories.

What’s next?

The challenge team wants to continue growing their zine collection and to become active members of the Glasgow zine community. They would love to increase their funding and support their students to attend the annual Glasgow Zine Fest as contributors.

They also have ambitions to extend the initiative to a European level as a broader platform for creative expression: “It would be amazing to create a Euro-zine that encapsulates the thoughts and feelings from students throughout Europe,” they said.

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