Queer, POC-owned space Index is hoping to elevate Adelaide’s arts community and foster zine culture.
Launched by Adelaide creatives Milo and Chira in 2020, Index was designed to alleviate the struggles facing artists during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally run through pop-up events, Index has since grown to a physical space after partnering with TwentySeven- a retail and bookstore focused on new-makers and emerging zine writers.
“We launched Index in 2020 to support Adelaide’s zine community, engaging creatives through market events, virtual activities and postal swaps,” Milo said.
“It’s now grown to a physical space- in partnership with Payton and Chira’s retail store TwentySeven.”
The team at Index recognise that while Adelaide is a creative city, emerging artists struggle to find spaces to connect and share their work.
“The reality is that many local artists juggle their creative endeavours alongside other jobs, and there aren’t many retail spaces that are confident supporting them while they’re still finding their feet,” Chira said.
“We believe it’s vital to provide support and representation for these artists, providing a means for them to share their work with a wider audience and have some extra financial gain along the way.”
The queer history of zine culture
Historically, zines have been an important form of expression and documentation for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Since the 1980s, they have played an important part in upholding queer history and queer expression. Significantly, zines played a key role in self-expression and documentation during the AIDS epidemic.
In America, The Queer Zine Archive Project has focused specifically on maintaining the recorded history of zines and their role in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Today, community members from across the globe continue the tradition, creating zines that focus on a variety of topics from sexuality, politics, mental health, love, grief, and more.
A perfect fit
Index has proven to be the perfect remedy for Adelaide creatives struggling with a changing landscape.
“The space was born as artists struggled to transfer to a predominantly online sales market,” Chira said.
“We knew that the opportunities both ventures provided would be magnified if we brought them together, and it really was a perfect fit!
“We just want to see more spaces like ours pop up across major cities, encouraging the community to shop local, engage with the arts, and support our hard-working creatives.”
Looking towards the future, the team at Index are hoping to continue to connect with the Adelaide community through workshops and pop-up events.
“We want to provide members of the community with physically and financially accessible ways to learn new skills, whilst also providing vital experience for the artists that are teaching them,” Milo said.
“Aside from that, we’re hoping to continue our pattern of hosting an annual zine swap which usually manifests as a pop-up market that highlights zines / comics, but also features a range of local creatives selling their wares.
“We hope that other stores can follow in our footsteps and provide more opportunities for talented local folks across the city.”
Index has opened at Shop 12 in Charles Street Plaza, Adelaide.
They have been supported by Renew Adelaide, a non for profit providing rent-free spaces for small businesses looking to launch in the Adelaide CBD.
More information is available at renewadelaide.com.au
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