hate isn’t just another zine

Scarlett Carlos Clarke and Luisa Le Voguer Couyet's zine is anti-emoji, anti-social media and pro-getting angry.

by Tish Weinstock
02 September 2015, 9:00am

Frustrated with glossy magazines and a mainstream culture that whitewashes everything from women's issues to class inequality, and disillusioned with the social climate and brainwashed consumer culture, Scarlett Carlos Clarke and Luisa Le Voguer Couyet decided to take matters into their own hands by launching their own zine. But before you roll your eyes there's something you should know: this isn't your average pink and glittery cool-girl fanzine, filled with more emojis and 90s rip offs than you can shake a stick at. 

Injected with the rebellious spirit of a pissed off youth and comprised of communist colouring in pages, satirical quizzes, feminist cartoons, interviews, illustration, art and photography, Hate Zine packs more punch than an iron first. Its name alone should stand for something. A perfect blend of searing satire and serious subject matter, it's a zine that actually makes you think. When it comes to content, nothing is off limits (expect to see dildos, butt holes, and a foetus by seminal artist Tim Noble). There are only two rules: no advertisers and no online copies. Ahead of tonight's launch we catch up with the girls behind one of the most exciting zines we've seen in a long time.

How did the zine come about?
Scarlett Carlos Clarke: We wanted to do our own zine, we were frustrated with what was being published and felt like we wanted to have our own voice.

What's the story behind the name?
Luisa Le Voguer Couyet: the name reflects the way we feel about things. I really think there are a lot of things to be angry about right now, especially as a young person. I hate the disparities between rich and poor, the unfair treatment of marginalised people in society, all kinds of oppression.

What makes your zine stand out from all the others?
Scarlett: Hate is different because we touch on some serious subjects as well as having a sense of humour. In the future we want to do a whole issue focusing on mental health - something that affects a lot of people.

There's a large emphasis on art and artists, where did this interest come from?
Scarlett: I wanted Hate to be a space where artists could perhaps showcase a different side to their work and show works that may not be published elsewhere. Especially with the more established artists, I think a lot of the time there are limitations on what you can show - things get too serious. Hate is free of all restrictions.

For some, making a zine has become a bit of a vanity project, a way of putting yourself out there and tapping into another cool "trend" - how do you feel about that?
Scarlett: We've wanted to do a zine for a long time; we didn't really think about tapping into a trend -- I have never bought a zine up until about a week ago. The timing of Hate launching is a coincidence with people starting to take zines more seriously again.
Luisa: Of course it could be seen as a vanity project, but you could say that about nearly everything that get's produced.

Why don't you want Hate to exist in a digital space?
Luisa: I want people to be able to hold it, to come back to it, to be able to physically turn a page. I hate how disposable things feel on the internet, it's incredibly fast with a huge turnover that all depends on what is trending. I didn't want our zine to be a part of that; it's impossible to keep up with. We have an Instagram account but we rarely post any of our content. Our website has a photo of our front cover and a link to PayPal.
Scarlett: We have worked so hard to create something unique, we want people to be able to enjoy it and not just "like" it on Instagram or Facebook. Nothing is given a chance to breathe or even exist in this instant world. Instagram is just a PR platform now.

Is print dead?
Scarlett: I think print is very much alive. To be able to hold something in your hands will always be more inspiring than staring at a computer screen.

Do you see social media as having a negative impact on culture?
Scarlett: I use social media practically every day. I think is has its positives and negatives. It is clear to see that Instagram has become a breeding ground for narcissistic tendencies. The third most frequently used hashtag on Instagram is #me. That's quite scary. I don't think there's anything wrong with self-promotion -- the internet has clearly helped a lot of people.

Where do you see Hate in the future?
Luisa: I would like there to be more creative writing in future issues. We would like to hold an exhibition that features all the contributors alongside more of their work, in order to provide a context for the artist as an individual that extends beyond the pages of our zine. We also want to do music nights as well. I'm quite interested in taking Hate to Berlin and Paris, and asking young writers in those cities to write about similar things that feature in the original zine. Maybe it's a bit of an ambitious plan, but I think instead of selling our zine in another country still in English, it's more inclusive for it to be translated and adapted.

If you wanted to expand it, how would you do it without selling out to advertisers?
Luisa: We will never sell out. It is very important for us to keep our integrity and our independent voice. If/when we want to expand I think we would have to be creative with raising the money, doing fundraisers and shitty jobs. Maybe we would accept donations.