DIY or Don't We? is produced by Nicki Sabalu from Olympia, Washington, USA. Here is what she had to say about her zine,'community', and the DIY spirit.
Please tell us a little about yourself and how 'DIY or Don't We?' came about?
The zine is a compilation rooted in collaboration, so much love and acknowledgment goes to all of the wonderful folks who have shared their stories. It came about in hopes of encouraging communication about how do-it-yourself ethics can be incorporated into the ways we work together as friends, family, collectives and communities. "Do-it-yourself" can seem like a solitary term. Sometimes that's okay, because it can be important to have time and space to do truly do things on our own. But sometimes it's important to collaborate on projects, work through tough situations with others, help nourish people we care about, and have fun together! That's where the "or don't we?" part comes in. The zine is intended to be an ongoing project, with two issues to date. The third issue, which should hopefully be printed next summer, will be about food and community.
In your opinion what defines a 'community' and a 'DIY' spirit?
A big reason for making this zine is that there isn't necessarily an all-encompassing definition of community, and it can mean so many things to different people. I was hoping that this zine could be a way for folks to share stories that explore what community means to them because it can exist in so many contexts. I don't think I have a concrete definition of community myself, but I think it can have a lot to do with things that are shared: interests, locations, identities. I also think that the strength of a community has much to do with working together – through good times and rough times – to address everyone's needs to the best of both individual and collective abilities. I think that a DIY spirit might be something that can emerge when DIY ethics are incorporated into many different aspects of our lives; when there's something more to it than just having hobbies. Maybe it's the passion that keeps us doing things ourselves, even though sometimes it would be much easier to rely on someone or something else to do them for us. DIY ethics and skill-sharing have been important to me because they can help empower people in ways that make us less reliant on corporations and governments, and hopefully more in tune with ourselves and conscious of the world around us.
With the publication of your zine, in what ways is it helping to foster another form of community?
By encouraging communication, I hope! Ideally, the zine is a way for folks to share stories, learn from each other, and maybe make new friends.
What fanzine would you recommend for us to read and why?
Oh, gosh. Decisions like these are tough for me, so I made a little pile of favorites, closed my eyes, and reached into the middle of it. My fingers have chosen the wonderful zine "Seeking Truth" by my friend Charlie Daugherty. It's a comic zine about an inquisitive character who is searching for their lost friend, Truth.