Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog


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Launch of the BIZOO Book at the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery

“Bizoo: The Best, The Worst and The Trash That Never Made It”  Bizoo was a street culture zine which gave a voice to the young people of Toowoomba from early in 2000 until 2006.

Its story and success lies in the needs that brought about the fanzine world-wide publishing phenomena over the last 20 years. Essentially it’s a response to the fact that the world is controlled by the media and those who control the media pretty well control everything. To combat the communication gulf those from outside the mainstream formed collectives and groups that collated the stories, prose and poems, lyrics, interviews, gig guides, critiques, rants, rude stuff and commentaries about their end of society.

These self-published newspapers/newsletters featured simple layouts, rough illustration and were usually output by photocopiers. Those making contributions did so under various tags and pseudonyms and distribution was made through coffee shops and venues where like-minded people hung out. Copies of the zine were free.

Ultimately the zine became respectable and these days many resemble ephemeral artists’ book styled products. Real names appear and the practice is studied and commented on by university academics – all a far cry from the anonymous gonzo street journalists of the early days.

Somehow, perhaps, the future of communication that was once carried in print by fanzines like Bizoo is gradually being eroded by Blogs (like this one), Facebook, texting and youTube.

But what is important is that the self-published zine created a voice for the stories that were not able to find a vehicle for communication. Now, with the publishing of BIZOO these chronicles of street-life in Toowoomba in the first half of the 21st century will pass into the history of our times. Something that the zinesters, now that their grown up a little, got or getting reliable work, having kids and getting on with life, will find an important and amusing part of their lives. The publication was supported by a grants from the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund and the Queensland Government’s RADF.

Make your own zine today ….

Cheers, Doug

SEE the following for more ….

The best place around to find zines – ElouiseQ at  http://smellslikezines.com/

JOHN ELLIOTT’s YouTube video and interviews    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkZV5Mg16vQ

THE CHRONICLE Newspaper’s story  http://www.thechronicle.com.au/

WHAT’S HAPPENING – Workshops, events, gigs etc.  www.bizoo.com.au

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