Migrant Zine Collective is an activist-based zine collective aiming to amplify, celebrate and share the voices of migrants-of-colour in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The idea kickstarted in early 2017 upon the release of GEN M (short for “Generation Migrant”), a zine collated and self-published by Helen Yeung in the hopes of celebrating her own Hong Kong-Chinese diasporic background, along with personal stories of individuals in the Auckland community.
Migrant Zine Collective has facilitated workshops in partnership with a number of local organisations, including Auckland Libraries, Shakti New Zealand, Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku, Aotearoa Asian Arts Hui, Massey University, Mairangi Arts Centre, First Thursdays, Albert-Eden Local Board, NZ International Comedy Festival, Strange Goods, Te Manawa and Shared Lines Collaborative.
Internationally, we have worked closely with a number of organisations and groups, including Musubi Hong Kong, Kon Len Knhom (an art centre in Phnom Penh, Cambodia), and Imagined Migrant Futures (a community research project in Western Australia). In 2019, we successfully launched our first Migrant Zine POP-UP Library at Sticky Institute in Melbourne, Australia. Our works have also been featured in various countries including Hong Kong, Malaysia, Cambodia, Australia and the US, with our most recent displays at Xerox Days Zine Market, Story Street (a mobile decolonial library space) in Australia, Hong Kong Art Book Fair 2020 and the Birdo Flugas gallery in Sendai, Japan.
Our work is inspired by Shakti Youth, a group of young people from Asian, African and Middle Eastern backgrounds passionate about social justice and building towards a violence-free future in Aotearoa/New Zealand; and Mellow Yellow Aotearoa, a space which has existed since 2006 for Asian feminists to challenge colonialism, racism, sexism and all forms of unjust social hierarchy.
We aim to open up a space where people-of-colour are able to discuss and unpack topics such as identity, feminism, racism, decolonisation and inequality, in a safe and accessible manner, and connect individuals through a range of zine workshops and community events.