“Artificial Womb is a feminist arts collective based in Scotland. We are committed to upholding all types of feminist arts in our journalism, from sculpture to poetry to videogames. All mediums of feminist art are worth covering and no medium inherently has more value than another. The collective puts together a zine every month, and we also run a zine distro and art shop. You can order our zines on our Etsy and read the articles for free on our WordPress, but we’re particularly proud of our subscription options on Patreon.”
Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Artificial Womb is a feminist arts collective based in Scotland. We put together a zine every month, and are committed to upholding all types of feminist arts in our journalism, from sculpture to poetry to videogames – because all types of feminist art are worth covering. We also run a zine distro and art shop. You can order our zines on our Etsy, but we’re particularly proud of our subscription options on Patreon.
Artificial Womb is made up of a lot of people since we’re a collective, but I myself (Bea) am very into digital arts, feminist games, and the intersection of feminism with disability rights. The collective is led by Luca, our founder and editor-in-chief.
What do zines mean to you?
Zines are a brilliant way to express ideas within the specific boundaries of physical paper that can be played with digitally before going out into the world. They’re really freeing and I’ve definitely learnt a lot more about them in the last year.
How did you first get started with zines?
I first got started with zines in around 2016 when I met Luca at a literary fair in Dundee. I didn’t know they existed before then, and I just found them so cool and innovative. I can’t really remember a life where I didn’t know zines.
Tell us about your zines.
The zines we make are very much about feminist arts journalism, but we try not let the WordPress website that we publish articles on restrict the direction of the zine itself. There are “zine only” components of Artificial Womb such as art and poetry, since we like to showcase instances of feminist art alongside reviewing them.
What resources do you use to create your zines?
We have a riso printer in our Glasgow base which saves a lot of ink and energy, and we print on recycled paper and staple the pages. Everything done before printing is done digitally.
Tell us about your zine-making process.
Recently we’ve started putting our new content on our website every week and then that rolls over to the next zine. The printer takes AGES to do its thing but we get a bunch of eclectic content for each zine, which I really like.
Do you have any advice for newbie zine makers?
I have never led the production of a zine myself but having been a part of AW’s journey for a long time, I’d say that the biggest piece of advice is just to do it. Nothing you create will be worse than a blank page or a head full of ideas that never get realised. Zinesters definitely underestimate themselves.
What is your favourite thing about zine culture?
I love how zines are about ANYTHING. I used to think they were a) only about feminism, and b) that feminism was only something that had “feminist” in the title, or explicitly talked about sexism or the patriarchy. While zines like this i In the last few years, I’ve found out about so many epic zines about all types of topics from movies to food to mental health, and I’m so hyped about all of them.
Do you have a favourite zine or zinester?
Favourite zine has probably got to be Endgame Sequences; a zine about grief, dying, and death in games, made by some people at the NYU Game Center and more. It’s beautiful, the essays are really poignant, and it reminds me that there’s always another angle to look at games from.
Why do you make zines?
Because they’re boundless while having really useful limits for your message.
Do you have any events, zine fairs, zine launches, or anything else exciting that you would like to tell us about?
My friend Lilidh made three zines recently: one on an ordered list of barriers to queer intimacy, one was a manifesto about trans healthcare, and one was about philosophy, transness, neurodivergence, and Paddington Bear. They’re all amazing zines and you can find Lilidh at @butchhedgehog on Twitter, she’s putting the zines out into the world sometime in June.
You can check out Artificial Womb by visiting them on their socials…