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The Zine Files: Typical Girls

Wednesday 15 February 2017

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Words Spindle

Typical Girls is an alternative women’s magazine that features stories and artwork from a diverse range of women, covering topics from gender and identity to the notion of creativity and art itself. “The initial idea was to create a space for women to showcase art and share their experiences,” co-founder Chani Wisdom told us, who started the zine with Jamila Prowse after they met working in a fudge pantry in Brighton. Typical Girls is all about dispelling that very notion: “We ultimately aim to prove that there is no such thing as a ‘typical girl’” said Chani, and the zine instead celebrates the many ways one can identify as female, showing there is no single or right way to be a girl or woman, instead it is up to the individual to decide. “Typical Girls is founded upon the premise of celebration, we seek to create a publication that is wholly positive and inspiring,” Chani explained, “The zine is a mix of art, photography, interviews, thought pieces and creative writing, collected and sourced from our contributors. It is the amazing work of the contributors that make Typical Girls what it is!”

Chani and Jamila released their first issue ‘Beginnings’ in October 2015, as well as hosting discussions and workshops. ‘Beginnings’ explored the lives of artists and how they got started, featuring art and photography, personal stories and experiences, as well as creative writing that explored birth, loss, death, and fresh starts. “The positive response we received was overwhelming and motivated us to continue the project further!” enthused Chani, and their second issue, ‘The Naked Issue,’ came out last year, aiming to simultaneously study the female form while also being about the idea of displaying oneself honestly. “Every issue we are changing and developing our process,” Chani told us, which was reflected in the issue, with contributors being encouraged to present themselves by their own terms, rather than have an editorial team dictate the direction of their work or define who they were.

“Our ambition is for Typical Girls to grow as a publication and as a platform for discussion amongst women,” Chani explained, “Our team is growing – we have a new amazing sub-editor bringing new things to the table, helping us evolve.” This year will soon see their third issue, ‘Generations,’ which explore how the current young generation differs from those before it, and how different generations can influence one another and interconnect. Typical Girls will no doubt produce another fantastic issue that redefines typical notions of what it is to be a girl or woman, instead reflecting how multifaceted this is, and continue to express female voices, creativity and stories.

Find out more about Typical Girls on their website, and purchase their issues here.