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"More Than Words"

An interview with

Rafaela Drazic
from Hrvatska, Croatia

by Haydeé Jiménez & Elke Zobl

March 2008

"Making people aware is a first step to make them think and then make an action"
-Rafaela Drazic


Rafaela Drazic
  Can you tell me a little bit about your personal (age, place of birth and residence etc.) and educational background?
I'm 26 and I was born in town of Split, Croatia. I graduated (MA) at Arts Academy University of Split, Department of Visual Communication Design in 2005. After graduating I worked as a graphic designer in Zagreb and then in London in Barnbrook Design studio mainly for cultural and non-profit organizations.

What are you currently doing, or involved in, besides your zines?
Currently I work as a freelance designer and teaching assistant at the Department of Visual Communication Design at Arts Academy University of Split. Recently, together with few friends of mine, I started an art platform which deals with organizing various art and cultural events and exhibitions. Beside that I am a member of non-profit organization for human rights and freedom of media.

Can you tell our readers about your Unzine? What topics do you discuss in your zines most often? What language are they written in?
Unzine is a monthly zine with various art, design and music contributions for expressing minority opinion (in Croatian language). The topics are mostly social oriented: from human rights, animal rights, feminist topics through politics to recycling, homophobia, culture news and so on, and so on...

How long have you been making zines?
Well, Unzine is my first one... so, around two years.

Where/how is Unzine distributed? Who are your readers?
Unzine is internet distributed magazine in pdf. format so the readers can send it forward to their friends or they can print it out, photocopy it and spread it around. My readers are mostly youth population in Croatia, but there are lots of people from different countries interested in Unzine design and artwork cause Unzine also speaks about mentioned topics through the artwork.

What kind of responses do you get from your zines’ audience?
I got more feedback than I expected. People got really interested in my project and I can see there are many of them interested in collaborating or contributing to it. Lately there are more and more people from different countries interested in. Although they can't read it because it is in Croatian they can understand what is all about through art and design in it.
How did you become introduced to the culture of zines?
It all started when I was 15. It was very connected to the music that I listened then. I can remember lots of zines about music and activism then, very similar to those from 70's. Cut and paste, photocopy, low budget, 'Zips & Chains' (:

What do you hope to accomplish by making and distributing your zine?
My first aim is to inform, because there is not much space in mainstream media about topics that I relate to. Making people aware is a first step to make them think and then make an action. Although I have a problem with expression 'making people' it is the simplest way of explanation.

What do you love and find challenging about zine making?
The most important thing about making zines that encourage you is probably when you realize that somebody finds some interest in what you do. Personally I see it also as an opportunity for self initiated projects and space for expressing.

Which role does the Internet play for you?
Since Unzine is internet distributed magazine - internet plays a huge role in my project. If I look at the 70's till our recent past, zines could not reach so many audience, but now, due to technology it is possible to 'spread the word' easily and quickly.

Please name some of your favorite zines and the reasons why you like them.
I like 'Beast' and 'Anti' because they mainly speak through the pictures and illustrations - so that everybody can understand, dealing often with social issues. I do consider that '800zine' and 'Daheim' does interesting stuff although I can't understand language.


What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start a zine?
Think about the message you want to send and then find the best shape to do it... how you present it - is very important. Very often I see an interesting content badly or inappropriately represented.

Do you feel part of a (grrrl or general) zine community or network and what does it mean to you?
Yes I do... first of all it means a better networking, which I found very important. Through my zine I met a lot of people and also those who are making zines themselves... we got in touch, which resulted with various collaborations and exchanging of ideas and informations.

What is the zine scene like in Hrvatska?
Zine scene was more 'alive' before the war - parallel with music from that period (new wave, alternative...)... although there was online zines that appeared during the war and they are still present, discussing social issues.

Do you consider yourself a feminist?
You got me there!

I don't like to put a strict 'frame' around ideas that I support - that is why I can't say that I am a 'proper' feminist or anything else.

What do you think about feminism today? How would you explain what feminism is to someone who has no idea what it is?
Feminism today takes various forms, so I can't generalize and it's hard to give a simple answer. To those who have no idea about it, I would probably say 'school' definition: a social justice movement of particular importance for women regarding domestic violence, pay equity, globalization...

What would a “grrrl”-friendly society look like in your view? How do you think society might be re-envisioned and transformed tin order to become an “ideal” world for women, grrrls and queer folks? Do you have any suggestions for the development of women/grrrl/queer-friendly policies?
I can't say that I have a recepie for the ideal world. Speaking of a 'better future' already sounds kind of cheesy and unfortunately, we are all still living in a 'mans world'... Lot's of things would be changed by accepting the differences as well as the same rights for all.

What are some of your personal wishes/visions/ideas/plans for the future, if you like to share them?
Unzine in English version and so on, and so on...

Thanks for the interview!




Unzine web site
Unzine on Myspace

unzine [AT]




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