crappin' on about the inconsequential, zines

Target 168 – Eurovision 2009

Earlier this year as part of International Literature Conspiracy Week, the folks at Sticky ran a little thing called Target 144, a synchronised zinemaking project/exhibition wherein zinemakers committed to starting and finishing an entire zine within the space of 144 hours. Which is six days. The whole thing looked like a lotta fun – there was even a table of zinemakers set up at Sticky for some of that time.


Target 168 is the next step in the program, a full-week-long zinemaking project whereby those willing to participate will commit to starting and finishing a whole-honest-to-goodness-done-and-dusted zine between 16 and 21 May. This time around, the theme of the zine needs to relate in some way to the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest and/or one of the 25 nations competing in said final, which is on during the time constraints mentioned above.

You don’t have to be in Melbourne to sign up for Target 168, or even in Australia for that matter. I urge all of you reading now who are of the zinemaking persuasion (or even if you’re not – this would be a great way to start off) to seriously consider taking part. The full rules for Target 168 are up on Sticky’s website, as are instructions on how to sign up.

Everyone who participates will get a copy of the zines made by everyone else who participates, so not only is it a good goad for your own zinemaking practises, it’ll be a real shot in the arm for your zine collection too.

Ruslana-flamethrower-Eurovision-2005As with Target 144, each zine produced as part of the project will have to have evidence that the zine was actually created during the set dates. This time around that evidence will be incorporation of the as-yet-unknown winner of Eurovision somewhere within the zine.

I’ve signed up to put something together over that weekend, partly as a way to browbeat myself into making more zines, but also as an excuse to check out Ukraine’s entry.

I’ve had a special fascination with Ukraine and Eurovision ever since  2004’s winning entry from the diminutive Ruslana, whose jaw-dropping performance of “Wild Dances”, all drums and leatherclad dancers, was easily topped by “Heart on Fire”, her show opener from Eurovision 2005, which involved her shooting an actual freakin’ flamethrower – which was almost as big as her, I kid you not – into the air mid-song.

More flamethrowers in Eurotrash pop, that’s what I want to see.

So what could Ukraine come up with that was more over the top than that? Well. Meet Svetlana Loboda. Ms. Loboda will be entering the stage as part of the Eurovision semifinals on what she refers to as a “hell machine”. The official Eurovision website goes on to describe said hell machine as:

“…a mobile device depicting the shape of a cog with several lamps in the frontal side. Svetlana Loboda will appear inside the wheel.

This massive cog will go down from the ceiling, and will describe at least two movements: rotation and descent. Svetlana Loboda, this year’s Ukrainian representative, will appear inside the machine during the descent and the whole thing will be accompanied by light effects, with mobile lamps, as well as pyros on stage.”

But it’s not just the Hell Machine that makes Ms. Loboda so fascinating. There’s also her campaign against family violence, wherein she depicts herself naked and beaten in a way that could easily be taken as an eroticisation of domestic violence rather than a statement against it. And her official website, whose photo gallery is broken down into sections including “concerts live”, “childhood”, and “erotic”. Something for everyone!

Svetlana my dear, it will be an absolute pleasure to incorporate you into a zine. You batshit crazy Ukranian trashpop diva, you.

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