Little Haiti's Activist Zine Fair Is for the People, by the People

A new zine fair with activist themes pops up in Miami this weekend.
A new zine fair with activist themes pops up in Miami this weekend. Francisco Moraga
The Activist Fair is a radical new mini-zine fair going down in the heart of Little Haiti November 3. Exile Books is calling all zine makers, independent publishers, and artists collectives interested in social causes who want to buy, sell and trade their work to attend.

Amanda Keeley, the founder of Exile, said she's looking to highlight the work of artists who use publishing as a means of social justice.

"Every time we do the big Miami Zine Fair in April I notice there's a lot of zines with political causes that are prominent. There's a lot of history of artists using self-publishing as a means of distributing a message in a live way, in a democratic way and accessible way," Keeley said. "That's why I thought it was important to focus on the artists that are creating change."

The zines at the fair were accepted via open call and will feature themes of climate change, LGBTQ issues, immigration and gentrification, among others. Keeley said she's open to receiving more submissions and giving a platform to local artists. The Activist Fair is part of The Creative Time Summit, an annual convention for thinkers, dreamers, and doers working at the intersection of art and politics happening in Miami the first weekend of November.

"We have Creative Time, which is a big national organization all going to the Knight Center, but I think the most important thing about the zine fair is experiencing something on a ground level and in a grassroots way because people will get a direct pulse of what's going on in our community," Keeley said.

The fair will host about 30 vendors showcasing their creations each with a different cause. Artists will also be contributing an 8.5 x 11 standard page to a collective zine where people will be encouraged to explore all the tables to assemble their free collaborative zine. Extra Virgin Press will also be on site with print activations, and a guest DJ will be setting the mood.

Keeley said the fair is a positive way for people to deal with the toxic political climate. Her team felt they needed to give the community a safe place to create and express themselves.

"I need to feel like I'm in an environment where dialogue is encouraged and that I can have a voice and ask about what is happening with our city, with our people and our government," Keeley said. "This is a way for people to feel that what they have to say matters."

The Activist Fair. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 3, at 5900 NW Second Ave., Miami; Admission is free.
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Christian Portilla is passionate about people and her city. She covers community, culture, and lifestyle in Miami and abroad. Follow her work on

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