Annie Dubois, a senior Professional and Public Writing major, and Nyle Rosenbaum, a junior Marketing major, received a CREATE! Micro-Grant to publish a zine that explores the pandemic’s effect on relationships, education, work, and identity.
The CREATE! Micro-Grant program selected 12 student projects, including Dubois’ and Rosenbaum’s, to each receive $500 to respond critically and imaginatively to events occurring during the pandemic.
The zine is an informal, short-form magazine titled, “How We Changed,” which explores how the pandemic and isolation has left lasting change on various aspects of people’s lives. Dubois and Rosenbaum started by taking surveys through Instagram, where they asked an array of questions relating to the topic.
“We wanted to capture the full scope of how the pandemic and isolation affected our internal and external lives, and the nuances within those structures,” Dubois said. “It seemed like there was an overall trend of people’s relationships shifting, people getting in touch with themselves more, and being overwhelmed by working from home. Making these collective feelings tangible and relatable was important to us.”
We wanted to capture the full scope of how the pandemic and isolation affected our internal and external lives, and the nuances within those structures.Annie Dubois, Professional and Public Writing senior
The surveys asked questions about how people’s relationships have changed, what their favorite and least favorite parts of working and learning from home were, and how their personalities, identities, and behaviors changed throughout the pandemic.
After analyzing the survey responses, Dubois and Rosenbaum started creating the 13-page zine by mixing media from magazines, craft paper, and text stickers. The zine included statistics and quotes from the surveys and was collaged with magazine cut-outs.
“The process of creating this zine was really enjoyable,” Rosenbaum said. “It was fun and cathartic to work with our hands to create this zine physically. Seeing our vision for the zine come to life was satisfying as well, since this was something we’ve been conceptualizing for a while.”
Dubois and Rosenbaum were motivated to create the zine from their own experiences in isolation and from conversations they had with friends.
“Creating something that others can relate to is a necessary part of processing this past year and half,” Dubois said. “It’s important to see your own feelings reflected back to you and know that you aren’t alone in your experiences. Seeing these quotes and statistics reminds us of the collective humanity we all share.”
The CREATE! Micro-Grant award helped Dubois and Rosenbaum purchase the materials to create the zine, including the craft paper, text stickers, paints, and magazines.
We were both able to gain not only artistic satisfaction from working on this project, but we learned a lot about creative collaboration and project management.Nyle Rosenbaum, Marketing junior
Dubois is interested in working in the publishing industry after graduation, so creating the zine allowed her to experiment with self-publishing practices. Rosenbaum is interested in creative marketing and was able to practice his artistic skills with collage work and photography through the project.
“We were both able to gain not only artistic satisfaction from working on this project, but we learned a lot about creative collaboration and project management,” Rosenbaum said. “We learned firsthand the importance of listening to and building on each other’s ideas to make the zine the best it could be.”