ZINESTER: “There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless.’ There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” — Arundathi Roy - iCrowdNewswire

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Oct 23, 2015 10:57 AM ET

ZINESTER: “There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless.’ There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” — Arundathi Roy

iCrowdNewswire - Oct 23, 2015

 ~What we do~


Zinester.org is a social enterprise initiative whose goal is to give marginalised people a voice by teaching them to make and publish DIY magazines (Zines). 

Through the co-creative process we unlock insights into the lives of the active researchers – and they are just as revealing as the stories they tell in their Zines.

Zinesters with the first copy of Chocolate City Zine
Zinesters with the first copy of Chocolate City Zine

In July this year, we conducted our first 6 x 3 hour workshops with street children at the Wings of Life Children’s Centre in Kibera. Kibera is one of Africa’s biggest slums and home to over one million people.

Commission A Zine In Kibera Slums Today!

We can now provide a direct link between YOU, the reading public, and our first graduateZINESTERS.

By supporting this fundraiser you give the kids an opportunity to create more magazines which, in turn, can be sold to purchase school necessities as well as contributing to the reimbursement of teachers who are mainly volunteers.  

KIBERA is FULL of FASCINATING STORIES and the kids are keen to get out there and capture more of them for the NEXT EDITION. 

This means you get to play EDITOR and select stories you want published.

Following a BRAINSTORM with the KIDS, here are some IDEAS to get the ball rolling.


  • FASHION: Research fashion trends and culture in Kibera(identify/comment/interview/photograph ).
  • NIGHT RUNNERS: Investigate the mysterious group of pranksters (interviews/historical evidence)
  • MUZUNGU KIDS IN AMERICA: Find out what kids in Kibera think (present photos/vids etc. document reactions/show Kibera equivalents).
  • MUNGIKI GANG: Produce a photo story based on a real life member. (historical evidence of gang/interview/photographs/video – include opposite perspective)
  • KIBERA TALENT SHOW: Scout and research talent. Showcase Kibera’s up and coming performers, actors, musicians, artists. Include interviews and pix
  • DAY IN THE LIFE: Could choose a MASAI BODYGUARD in the slum. Ask questions like: Who needs a bodyguard, why? (Could include physical routine, skills, worst/best experiences – apply to all occupations)
  • KIBERA DUMPS: Giant MARABOU STORKS and other creatures rely on them for survival. 
  • Interview a SLUM DETECTIVE and learn about some of the CRIMES he solved. 

By giving the children full creative freedom we GUARANTEE an exciting reading experience!!

Zinester Team
Zinester Team


First we encouraged the kids to make CRAZY MASH UPS – cutting up bits of old magazines to make collages on whatever subject they wanted. Then they wrote their own CAPTIONS to explain the madness. Our favourite was: ‘MONKEYS ARE FUNNY & MAD’ 

Gaining CONFIDENCE by cutting up stuffy old magazines the kids focused on TRUE STORIES that had happened to them or to people they knew before taking CRASH COURSES in INTERVIEW TECHNIQUE, PHOTOGRAPHIC REPORTAGE & FEATURE WRITING. 

Photography Skills

Photography Skills
The Hairy Man
The Hairy Man

Uninhibited and at home in their environment the images they brought back provided a PUREand UNBIASED accounts of their LIVES IN THE SLUM.

Orphan Boy Interview
Orphan Boy Interview

Alongside the SOCIAL ISSUES they faced the children also unlocked HIDDEN INSIGHTS andBIZARRE SUBCULTURES, like that of Kenya’s NIGHT RUNNERS, a group of men who strip naked and run at night supposedly to escape possession by evil spirits (SHHHH!!!)

Social Impact 

By PUBLISHING their ZINES and raising FUNDS through the sale of their photographic prints we will help them continue their EXCELLENT WORK as budding new JOURNALISTS reporting on events as they happen in KIBERA and KENYA

We are on a MISSION to prove that the kids at WINGS OF LIFE can capture AMAZING STORIES that the WORLD IS WAITING TO HEAR. 

But seriously…

NGO’s and development agencies often complain that they are unable to hear the voices of women and children in the communities they visit.

In extreme cases girls’ rights to education are barely encouraged so there is limited scope for their ever acquiring the skills necessary to become active and vocal citizens.

Kenya where Zinester.org has chosen to launch ranks 147th on the Gender Inequality Index. Low literacy rates among women and low income groups continues to make it impossible for many to construct and convey the narratives they need to affect change.

What next…

Zinester.org has been asked by several marginalised groups to come and teach them how to make magazines so they can tell their story. 

One of these groups is the women’s village of Umoja in the north of Kenya who have survived gender based violence and have banned men providing sanctuary for any ostracised girls and women. 

Having self funded our workshop with Wings Of Life we know that our costs for running a complete workshop are in the region of £3000GBP.

In order to reach this target we’ll channel your money into doing more work with WINGS OF LIFE. 

We are confident that the NOISE around this work will generate interest from a MAJOR DONOR to provide the women of Umoja and potentially other groups with an opportunity to take the workshop. 

The Women Of Umoja

Women Of Umoja
Women Of Umoja
  • An all-female matriarch village in Samburu, Northern Kenya that has banned men and functions as a sanctuary for homeless survivors of violence against women and for young girls running from forced marriages. 
  • Goal: We’ll train the women to re-enact their foundation story, publish it in posters and a Zine that they will share with other Samburu women facing similar issues and with visitors to their village who have come to hear their story. 
Women Of Umoja
Women Of Umoja

What we are offering

Zinester.org offers a basic subscription model along with a fresh way for NGO’s, media houses, philanthropists and private individuals to commission impactful artistic and photographic work.

High tier funders will define the scope of the projects we undertake and we’ll work closely with them to deliver a Project Brief designed with a specific social impact outcome in mind e.g. Empowering and educating Samburu women that they have the power to stand up to gender based violence and societal norms that make them subordinate to men. 

“High tier funders will define the scope of the projects we undertake”

By working with established community groups and in schools and places of higher education we will ensure safe spaces for intensive training in photography, active research, journalistic writing, public communication and zine publishing.

“we will ensure safe spaces for intensive training”

Oral storytelling anchored in the Zine’s visual narratives will kick start meetings with those who have the power to bring about specific, tangible goals and behavioural change objectives.

At a local level subsidised Zines will be distributed to interested members of the community and function as invitations for them to attend the public meetings where the Zinesters will have gained the confidence to stand up and tell the stories captured in their work.

Long Term Impact

The program is designed to be replicable around the world as a model for empowering marginalized groups.

  • By the end of 2016 more than 50 of the participants will have emerged as leaders and been trained to sustain the publications they have helped to found.
  • Boys and men in the community will have learned to respect these leaders, many of whom will be girls.
  • Community leaders and local politicians will have recognized the importance of listeningto marginalized members of the community.
  • Zines will include important gender and health information and sustain their print run via sponsorship deals with local and global donors.
  • Distribution links to zine outlets in the West and a social media presence will allow donors to contribute to specific issues.
  • Funding organisations will be able to leverage the authenticity of the participants’ stories to generate cut through in their communication campaigns.
Contact Information:

Harrison Thane

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