Zines teach teens to share their voices
Zines teach teens to share their voices

Is your teen struggling to find their voice amidst all the challenges that have been piled on top of their already tumultuous adolescence? Boricua mixed-media and performance artist Jasmine Dillavou is ready to help youths express themselves through an engaging, three-hour, virtual course devoted to learning about one of the most enduring forms of free expression — the zine.

“Zine-making is so relevant right now,” says Dillavou. “It’s a direct and easy way to voice our opinions and spread ideas. Teens’ voices matter so much right now and having a platform to share those thoughts is an absolute necessity.”

Dillavou knows a lot about the importance of expression. Her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries here in Colorado Springs and as far away as New York City. She’s also involved in numerous art organizations in the community and remains a passionate advocate for sharing the Latinx experience.

It can be difficult to be seen and heard as an adult, but that problem is often increased for teens; adults can dismiss teens’ opinions because of their age or perceived lack of relevant life experience. Zines provide a channel for expression. Dillavou began creating them while she was in high school, using them to share her art and poetry. Today, she is still a maker of zines, but the message has shifted.

“I see it as a funnel for passion and fears and hopes and ideas,” she says.

The zine-making session is intended for youths ages 12 to 16. Dillavou says the workshop will include a brief overview of the history of zines, including examples of a variety of styles, from politics and poetry to skateboards and punk rock. Attendees will also learn how zines can help them express themselves without waiting around for someone else to designate their work or their opinion as worthy of publication.

“We will look at examples and discuss the importance of the political voice and explore ways people in the past have used self-publication to share their ideas,” says Dillavou.

The next portion of the class will be hands-on. Attendees should gather up supplies from around the house to participate: old magazines, scissors, markers, glue, string, construction paper, notebook paper or anything else lying around.

“We will learn folds, binding techniques, explore topics together and make our own. It’s a great chance to voice some of the energy about our current cultural climate.”

Because it is a virtual class and most attendees will be viewing at home, teens should not get hung up on collecting the perfect materials. The real importance lies in the message and the ability to speak out through creativity.

“Zines are publications by the people for the people,” says Dillavou. “What’s more punk rock than that?”

Virtual, June 16, 5-8 p.m., $50, artschool.csfineartscenter.org