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Elke Zobl


I have been running Grrrl Zine Network ( since 2001. I organize zine workshops and exhibitions and am doing research on feminist self-publishing, art and social change. I live in Salzburg, Austria, and can be reached at elke.zobl(at) (For more, see below).

I grew up in a small village in the mountains of Austria. After I left home at 18, I studied sculpture, art education, and German literature in Salzburg, and grew more and more frustrated with the great canon of art and literature surrounding the (male) genius. During my exchange year at Duke University in the United States, I began to explore my interest in Women’s Studies and to question that very canon. Upon my return, I moved to Vienna and founded together with two friends a magazine called “female sequences: frauenlesbenkulturHEFTig.” Our aim was to document and provide a platform for feminist and lesbian art, music, pop culture and theory in Austria. Although we made it as a collective only through issue number one (one of us continued to publish the magazine), I became more interested in feminist alternative media. I found a number of feminist artists in the German-speaking area who use magazines as an alternative outlet to the male-dominated gallery system and to create their own representation, on their own terms .

On my consequent search through the online world, I found that there were feminist zines in the US, UK, Peru, Singapore, Mexico, Israel, Poland, the Philippines, New Zealand, Norway, Japan and many other countries! I stumbled across this international network of young women producing their own, unapologetically feminist media - and I was hooked. Yet, I discovered that there was no central online resource site documenting international feminist zines. Most sites focused on English-written zines from the US and the UK but did not include zines from other counties. Because zines often have a short publishing lifetime and are difficult to catalog (e.g. because of the use of nicknames, lacking publishing city or date), many libraries have not archived them. So I decided to create a platform and online archive for international feminist zines as an arena for all those who fell under the mainstream radar, or better, subverted, criticized, and made fun of the mainstream.

In 2001 I went online with Grrrl Zine Network: A resource site for international grrrl, lady, queer and trans folk zines, distros and DIY projects ( Based on my personal bookmarks I listed around 50 international zines. Today, the site lists and links more than 2000 zines from 43 countries that are written in 15 languages . The resource section provides information about feminist organizations, art, popular culture, and music projects. Another section compiles books, videos, popular and academic writing on zines. To exchange information and ideas, as well as to announce new issues or calls for submissions, I have also created a mailing list and message board. As I find it also essential to document the thoughts and opinions of zine makers, together with Haydeé Jiménez I have conducted interviews with more than 100 feminist zine producers and distributors which can also be accessed from the site.

I frequently organize workshops, seminars, exhibitions and conferences around zines and zine culture – as part of the Grrrl Zines A-Go-Go collective in San Diego, US, focusing on the empowerment of young women through the production of fanzines and self-published works in workshops (, and in her new home in Salzburg, Austria.

My research focuses on feminist self-publishing, in particular on feminist zines. After finishing my doctorate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria, with a dissertation on “The Global Grrrl Zine Network: A DIY Feminist Revolution for Social Change”, I pursued postdoctoral studies at the University of California at San Diego documenting and analysing grrrl zines.

I am now continuing my research on “Young women as creators of new cultural spaces” at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria, and I coordinate the research project “Feminist media production in Europe” (both funded by the Austrian Science Fund).

I live in Salzburg, Austria, and can be reached at elke.zobl(at)

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