archiving zines?
on day 1, i asked the class during group discussion if they thought zines should be preserved. i introduced the idea of 'ephemerality' or that some creations aren't made to last. they shared fears about how archives, government, and other institutions can manipulate or erase a creator's original intention. who gets lost in history? 
this discussion lay the groundwork for days 2-3, when we discussed moral panics and censorship. we explored how panic and censorship have been historically linked to youth and children. i asked them if we should censor at all, and if yes, what topics should be censored. everyone shared critical reflections on free speech, social fears, normative thinking, and policing. we distinguished censorship from trigger warnings & wondered how youth might be involved in the decision about when and what to prohibit. 
making the zine
this zine was a bit of an experimenT. i'd been wondering about how to generate a hand-on history of censorship. so, i tasked everyone with creating a zine based on themes that were historically censored or incited moral panic (e.g. punk, rock, heavy metal, queerness, sexuality, the occult, dungeons & dragons or anything else they suggested). 
i then 'seized' their zines and 'archived' them. i added each one to a numbered folder and included an intake form. the students then morphed from zinesters into government censors. they each randomly selected a folder, censored the zine's contents, and filled out the form. 
afterwards, the folders and censored zines were 'declassified' and returned to their original creators. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

the blank file & form as well as guiding prompts given to students.

when first explaining the activity, there was a lot of excitement about being able to scribble and destroy the zines as censors. (I wondered about whether the government has felt similar zeal and excitement 🤔) but, i had a hunch that after making the zines, everyone would grow attached to their creations... 
sure enough, I was asked if the censorship had to be a permanent alteration, or if we could find a way to preserve the zines. i hesitated. i wanted everyone to experience the difficult feeling of altering someone's work, pen to paper. the students' creative solution: photocopying the zines. i conceded but time got away from us and i was't able to photocopy the zines. 
our compromise: everyone got to choose whether they wanted their zine to be 'directly censored' with black marker or 'indirectly' censored with tape & black paper. i added these preferences as notes in each file.
the result: uniquely created and censored zines. Check out some pics of the censored zine covers and associated files below... 
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