Bupkis Zine was started up by Zerrin Asir and Isabel Alsina-Reynolds. The idea came about as a result of Zerrin’s and Isabel’s enthusiasm for their art practices (film and photography) and passion for creating a physical space for their creativity. Their first-ever zine is in stock at Tate Modern so go go go get them before they’re gone!
They both join us in sharing how Bupkis came about and getting to grips with what it is like to start up their own entrepreneurship within the creative industry.
“Bupkis is an ongoing collaboration all about colour, clumsiness and stickiness”Bupkis
1. Thank you for having a chat with us! Would you like to introduce yourselves?
Hey there, we’re Zerrin and Isabel and are both artists who run Bupkis together.
2. What inspired Bupkis Zine?
Bupkis started as a response to the offshoots of making and the by-products of both of our practices. We wanted to create a space where all of the random, sticky and messy fallout could live.
Be celebrated in a form that was playful and experimental and didn’t necessarily have to conform to traditional categories and formats.
We focus on a colour per issue and are slowly making our way through the spectrum and often the content falls into the strange, uncanny and erratic whilst providing a much-needed break from reality.
3. What future projects are you working on at the moment?
We are working towards the launch of our second issue which is focused on all things sticky and green, and are releasing a video and clothing to go with it.
4. Your zine is currently selling at Tate, how has the experience been for you so far?
It’s been fantastic to have that kind of exposure, seeing our zine on the staff recommendations bay was a surreal feeling.
5. What does diversity mean to you?
Often the term ‘diversity’ within the arts is weaponized as a means to create spaces that seem open and inclusive but in reality, still fall into the traditional pit holes of stereotypically white male art environments.
The influx of DIY publishing and zine-making in the mainstream offers a happy alternative to this, with otherwise unrepresented or marginalised people now creating their own books and magazines that are stocked in large arts organisations (like the Tate), otherwise silenced voices are able to tell their own narrative.
Within Bupkis we are trying to open up the zine to anyone that would like to be involved. We hope to create a supportive community through open calls and submissions that is celebratory about the weird and wonderful.
6. As women at work, what do you think can be done for better representation and equality for women within a workplace?
There’s obviously a long way to go with the representation of gender and race within the workplace. This feels like it needs to start with a bigger representation of people from higher up in the working hierarchy.
In turn, will affect employment across the workplace and ultimately create safer environments for everyone to work within.
No one should have to feel uncomfortable whilst making ends meet and it’s the responsibility of the companies and organisations to deploy safe working regulations. The expectation should never be on the individual to have difficult and confrontational conversations about there working environment.
As two young creatives in London, we both have had our fair share of unfair and exploitative working environments. From sexist bar work too frustrating experiences whilst working in retail and feel like equality starts with positive education and awareness at all levels.
7. What has been the best experience so far with Bupkis Zine?
Getting to work creatively together, and getting all our friends involved in the process.
8. Who are your biggest role models and why?
We’re lucky that we have amazing female friends that are doing great creative things that inspire us within every issue. For our last issue, we used clothing made by our friend Shakila Thebe. We got our writer friends to submit work to the zine, we asked our friends who draw to sketch up fonts etc.
We are super excited to have Bupkis Zine joining us for The Art of Working Women exhibition at artFix, Woolwich on 14th-20th March 2020. Get your free ticket now as this event is not to be missed!