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The zine Patrol: Reflecting daily life in Tel Aviv

An interview with

from Tel Aviv, Israel

by Elke Zobl
March 2005



Can you tell me first of all a little bit about yourself? How old are you, where are you originally from and where do you reside now?

I was born in a suburb of Jerusalem, Mevaseret Zion, and lived there most of my life. Right now I live in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel. I'm 20 year old.

What do you do besides your zine?

That's a big question! but relevantly, I run a tiny little new distro, go to university, do other zines, and from time to time do other projects, either zine, art, or both related.

Are you currently in any other projects involved?

Getting my distro started is certainly my major project right now. I'm still working on the catalogue, so if you readers have a zine, you should send me a copy! Besides that, I'm also working on illustrations for a new personal zine.

What is your zine "Patrol" about? What topics do you discuss most often?

I've done three issues of Patrol and each one is completely different. The third issue is mostly about experiences from the last couple of years, seeing other places and thinking of my own place. It also tackles universal issues like love, hate, jealousy and bitterness. The first two issues were very different, in style and content- the first one was a log of dreams I transcripted and the second one was more about femininity and identity.

For how long have you been running your zine now? Are you the only editor or is there a team?

I've done three issues of Patrol in about four years. For the most part, I've pretty much done everything myself, except of the third issue, part of which was edited by Moran Zait-Levy. Still, there isn't a team or anything. Although I haven't done it much in the past, I think external editing is a very important tool in zine making. Zines, doesn't matter how personal, are eventually sent out to the public. Sometimes, an external preview of your zine can help a lot in assimilating the message, or atmosphere you want for your zine. I also found that talking with someone trusted on my zine clarifies a lot of the fog that surrounds exposure of personal writings, and I think it eventually makes a better zine AND a better zinester.

What made you decide to start this project? How did you come up with the idea and the name?

Well, long story short- ever since I've encountered zines I wanted to make one myself, so it wasn't long before I've collected my older stuff into it. Patrol #1 was the first zine I made. My zine definitely reflects my daily life and what occupies my mind, so the topics very from issue to issue and the ideas, well, they just come themselves I guess. Maybe that's why there are big time gaps between issues. The name Patrol is simply the name of the first piece of the first issue. Not very original, but I stuck with it.

What was your first exposure to zines? How did you find out about them?

I was first exposed to zines in High school, by a friend who sat next to me in class. He used to read them through boring classes and I got a pick of alternative press. Lucky enough, he has a good taste so I got a fine education.

What do you hope to accomplish by making and distributing your zine?

It might sound selfish, but although I refer to my zine and zine making in general as something that eventually is made public, I do my zine mainly for my own sake. I think the whole process of zine making is very empowering, both to the maker and later on the reader. Most of all, I seek satisfaction of the making, the process: dealing with what I used to write to myself as something public- politicizing the personal, and personalizing the political. Thinking, and then acting, from the point of view of my possibility to convey messages and thoughts outward. It wasn't always obvious to me that I can use my own voice and create a product of it from beginning to end, something that could stand by itself. Another part of the making is the craft, which I love. The first two issues were very "cut and paste" and the third had a spray-paint stenciled cover and pictures of bulk prints I made. I think the craft part in zine making is very empowering because it's so DIY, and there are no limitations on size, format, material and so on, so many options for creativity. The distribution part is different. I want people to see art (written and/or visual) as a part of daily life, esthetics as important yet reachable as other basic things. Nice, pretty or intriguing things should not be limited to formal galleries and museums; they should live among us humans in our streets, in our homes and in our brains and guts. (That's why I do my zine "pocket size", small, carryable, and not too fragile). For the most part, I feel that if not the content, the format and their option to use it as well, is what I want my readers to be exposed to. That's what I mean by empowering the reader. Another thing is bringing down some walls between people, fighting alienation and trying to create a sort of community by producing something that is, again, some sort of hybrid between very personal and very public.

What do you love and find challenging about zine making?

The most challenging part for me is to sort good thing that should be in the zine from the less good, bad and even really terrible things that should be left out although my ego wants otherwise. Another difficulty is keep on distributing and making more copies after the first print is over, and that's because I have little faith and I'm lazy. These two "problems" have their bright side: having a better, sharper zine as a result and eventually reaching a larger audience, which makes them more them worth it. The thing I love most about zine making is stapling a huge pile of copies and then trying to guess where will they go, who will read them and where. Imagining them in someone's backpack or on a bookshelf among other things.

What are some of the zines you read and admire?

My favorite zines are personal and travel stories. I also enjoy comics and interview zines. To name a few: the infamous Cometbus, AVOW, America?, Doris, Ghost Pine, and the Hebrew zines Water War, Zionist Dog, Specified Frustration, Abused Childhood and many more.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start a zine?

Just do it. By all means. Do whatever you feel like doing, don't try to be anyone else. Try and find your own voice and use others to help you if you feel the need. Be creative and honest. Learn from your mistakes and not from partial advice like the above.

Do you feel part of a (grrrl or general) zine community or network andwhat does it mean to you?

When looking at the bigger picture, I don't feel like part of a specific feminine or "grrrl" zine community, or a such general network. I do see this network being built little by little inside the Israeli punk/ activist scene, comparing and learning from the rest of the world. This network is not autonomous yet, as awareness is spread slowly and trust is built even slower. But from where I stand right now I can see those threads being tied around and between us, and it's a great thing to watch.

I am very interested in international grrrl zines. Could you please describe a little bit the (grrrl) zine community or network in Israel or in the Middle East in general? Are there others and who are some of the most active participants? Do you think that there is a separate grrrl zine community/network from the larger zine community?

Unfortunately I don't know anything about what's going on in other middle eastern countries beside Israel, concerning zines. There is virtually no communication at all between Israeli and other zinesters in the region. I don't even know names of zines or people doing them, or if they even exist! In Israel, there has been a small but sure flow of zines over the years, starting in the early 90's. Although there are a few girls who had, and still have, a lot of influence, the scene is yet too small to be divided into sub-groups or genres. Recently, a new collective called AVST (anarcho-vegan sisterhood front) published a zine and a few pamphlets, embraced warmly by the punk scene. But beside this project, there were no other specified grrrl zine collectives or publishers.

Many thanks for the interview, Noya!



Email Noya for issues of her zine and to inquire about contributing to her new distro:
< xnoyax [AT] gmail [DOT] com >




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