10 March 2007

Fall Of Autumn: Latest review for FW #1

Photo from 'Confessions of A Guilty Expat' in FW#1.

Over the last week or so Foulweather has been deep undercover doing 'research' for issue #2 of the Foulweather zine (details to follow). Consequently and refreshingly I have been far removed from this virtual vortex that is blogland.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to return to an email from Aaron Cynic of Fall Of Autumn, an Independent publisher and distro based in Illinois. Aaron was kind enough to review Foulweather #1 and I am above and beyond pleased with his reading of the zine and the themes I was trying to discuss within the content. I am down to the last box of issue #1, and hopefully this review will help me shift them. Here it is (or go to the Fall Of Autumn website, read it there and then check out hundreds of other worthwhile zines and listen to some zine readings by way of podcast):

The idea of national identity, of who we are as related to where we live and where we were born can be more than just confusing. The more we think about it, the more we start to analyze the cultures we grew up in, the more we realize that the world has always been more interconnected than we realize. The harder we think about national identity, the harder it becomes to ignore the obvious imperialist, colonialist, and racist ideologies and practices that exist in the world today. Foulweather does more than just take us through these ideas and concepts - it ties them all to personal stories.

Foulweather takes an in depth look at what it means to be a citizen, an outsider, a dissident, and an expatriate of a society from a number of perspectives. Plenty of zines make fine attempts at exploring the nature and effects of US imperialist policies, America's war on indigenous culture, issues of racial identity and cultural assimilation - Foulweather does an incredible job of relating these issues in a way that every reader can understand.

In "first person colonized," Max Macias writes about his own struggle with identity as an American as it relates to his indigenous heritage - coming to the conclusion that he is not an American and needs to find his own identity from a non-western perspective. Max also had the opportunity to interview Immortal Technique, one of today's most interesting and controversial hip hop artists. Saeed Taji Farouky writes about the struggle for Palestinian cultural identity in "national something or other." Saeed brings us the story of the Palestinian struggle from a very personal perspective, showing us how complicated the crisis is to the individual.

Pete Lewis (editor) wrote the bulk of Foulweather, culminating with an amazing story of growing up as an expatriate in Bahrain ("confessions of a guilty expat"). Pete weaves a history lesson, personal confession, and lesson in the effects of Western colonialism on non-western countries into an incredible story. He takes on the commodification of alternative culture in "nike vs. minor threat," doing a brilliant job of commenting on Nike's recent attempt at appropriating artwork from the band Minor Threat. Pete even gives a movie review - well, more of a recommendation in "the battle of algiers." I'll be tracking that one down now for sure.

Foulweather #1 might be one of the most important zines you can pick up these days - I can't wait to see issue #2.

-Aaron Cynic, 2007