News and Views

Going underground: Cork zines reveal ‘no-holds-barred perspective on city life’

4 Jul 2019
The Cork Zine Archive has called on the public to donate additional titles to the collection, which will find a home in UCC Library.

Over the past five years, the exhibition curators Siobhán Bardsley and Fiona O’Mahony have been putting together a collection of Cork fanzines from 1975 to 2005.

Publish and be Damned, a new exhibition at UCC Library in partnership with Cork Zine Archive, has crowdsourced the biggest collection of Cork-produced fanzines or zines.

The exhibition will unveil zines and independent magazines produced by individuals and groups in Cork spanning three decades, from 1975 until the dawn of digital and social media.

Crónán Ó Doibhlin, Head of Research Collections, UCC Library, described the zines as an important social record, which served as “the only space for voices that would otherwise have been lost amidst the dull din of the status quo.”

“Each fanzine produced in Cork tells its own story, with its own unique energy forever Xeroxed into every scribbled line of text and collage of images.

“They preserve an honest, no-holds-barred perspective on city life that was specific to each individual or group for whom the fanzine was conceived.”

As part of the project, the Cork Zine Archive has called on the public to donate additional titles to the collection, which will find a home in UCC Library.

Titles in the collection include Plink Plink Fizz, Protest, Sunny Days, No More Plastic Pitches, and Zeitgeist, encompassing a wide selection of interest.

The collection highlights the importance of this ‘vernacular journalism’ as an almost forgotten artefact of our print culture and will be available to facilitate research into a distinctive element of Cork city’s vibrant cultural life.

Fanzines are the magazines of the counterculture, the underground and underrepresented, and in the pre-digital era, offered a space where the constraints of formal publishing were absent; the forerunner of social media, the Internet before the Internet. “But with the arrival of the internet, the fanzine lost its primary function, so we have seen a gradual decline.”

The Cork Zine Archive collection reveals a vitality, audacity, and cheeky humour characteristic of Cork.

Open to the public, Publish and be Damned will be launched on July 5 at 5 pm, and the exhibition will run until the end of September 2019. For further details, contact c.odoibhlin@ucc.ie.

For more on this story contact:

Lynne Nolan, Media & PR Officer, UCC: 087 210 1119. 

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF

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