Agata – There’s also poetry, comics…. We even received short clips, movie clips, and we were like, “We cannot print movie clips?”. So we just did like screenshots from it. We’re very open about what people create and what they want to send and also especially about the aesthetic.
Obviously, we have to make a selection of works which is based on our own artistic alignment, but we still try to include different styles, different aesthetics, so that it stays open and doesn’t feel like we are superior, that we know everything about art and written words…because we don’t. We don’t have an education in that, in art direction or anything.
We have to do a selection because we just get a lot of submissions during our open calls. So we have to do some cuts, while trying to include different ways, different styles, in an effort to reflect how diverse the art and the writings of so many people are. Every time we are surprised by a way of painting, by some technique we don’t know about.
David – It’s also a place to feature stories that cannot be really talked about in the mainstream media. I saw, for example, I think in the sex issue you have a feature on, asexuality it’s not something that is really discussed.
We felt that this sex positivity was still very normative and still respected certain boundaries. You could not talk about something that’s not so normatively pretty. .. but we don’t. Some people are asexual, or they cannot have sex for many reasons.
We try to be in dialogue with people that are differently opinionated, but also with people that are trying to be progressive and open minded, but maybe they don’t see that there’s still something more.
I felt that there was a certain feeling that now we have to talk about sex all the time, some people where even saying that we have to talk about sex because we all have sex
David – You sell these issues physically, and you chose to also ship them with Etsy. So there was this desire to make it available internationally ?
Agata – For a long time, a few years, we were selling everything without any platform. We were telling people to send a message to us and then we went to the post office and sent it.
Agata – Yeah, it was a very interesting issue because it was released during a time where there was a lot of sex topics in the media, but it was still focused on everything that was very pretty
Then we started to get so many requests that we couldn’t follow anymore and sometimes those messages got lost and everything. We wanted to be able to sell it in the country but also abroad. Etsy is basically for our audience abroad.
We don’t have our own shop as such because you usually have to be a legal institution to do such transactions. On Etsy and Allegra you can just sell your own stuff. Everything we do is independent, we are not an institution or anything.
Agata – It is really hard, especially because our zines have become really thick. Since three issues ago, we have published it bilingual, in Polish and in English. We do Polish translations of English writings and then the other way around.
We also print them in color, so it’s becoming more expensive. If you are not producing thousands of copies, best hookup bar Leicester the cost per one is really huge. Let’s say we order like 200 copies (it’s a lot of money especially since we don’t have any funding) to do that we put our own money in it and then, when we sell it, we hope it will break even.