Photographer Valerie J. Bower unveils her book Homegirls at Long Beach Zine Fest this weekend.
Courtesy Valerie J. Bower
The experience of flipping through a zine can sometimes be akin to looking through someone’s diary. There are entry points into all kinds of thoughts from the creator: musings on pop culture, reflections on their neighborhoods, magnifications of recent heartbreaks.
In L.A., zines can feel simultaneously personal and political — and they can hit close to home for many Angelenos. In order to shed more light on the zine scene and Long Beach in general, the Long Beach Zine Fest is coming to the Museum of Latin American Art on Sunday, Aug. 6. The third annual event is free and will feature more than 100 zinesters.
One of them is Valerie J. Bower, a Long Beach photographer who uses her camera to chronicle the little moments that happen in L.A. and its environs. Bower started making zines in 2014, mostly as a way to compile all the photographs she was taking.
“Zines and printed work became the best way for me to organize my images and put my concepts together,” Bower says via email. “Also, I love collecting art and music, so having my photos as hard copies is important to me.”
Bower sees the zine as an especially poignant medium for showing the “intimate moments and friendships” that she captures in her photographs. Her latest project is a softcover, 52-page book called Homegirls. It features black-and-white photos of three young Latinas, Canela, Morena and Luna, set against the backdrop of Roosevelt Park. One of the images features two of the young women standing near a chainlink fence as one puts makeup on the…
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