With the “People. Not Pages” mini-interview series The Phooks invites you to learn more about people who stand behind the medium of self- & indie-published photobooks, and zines.
Let’s dive into the culture of photozines publishing today— the most democratic and open-for-all, but yet physical photography medium which is in no way inferior to photo books at its power of telling stories and building the narrative is limitless. I would even say, in some cases, it wins due to its simplicity: when the content prevails over the form.
Huda Azzis, who is running a small, but very productive publishing house in Singapore, will lead us there.
How do you live and make your living?
I am a freelance video editor and I work on a lot of shows for television broadcast.
The bulk of what I edit are long forms so for examples documentaries, non-fiction programs. I also do work for online content like short films, online tv series, short docu for brands those sort of stuff.
I’ve been editing for almost 8 years professionally and 2 years ago I started working on “Your Local Newsstand” which is a passion project and still is.
How did you get into photography?
Well, I’m going to answer this a little differently if you don’t mind me, Max. I decided to produce and publish zines because first of all, I love zines.
Like I literally would spend money on zines more than other stuff.
On top of that, I’m a big fan of photography and so I started wanting to tell and share photography stories through zines as the physical medium and that’s how I got started in photography and publishing zines.
What do you value the most in the art of photography?
That you don’t have to say anything to show how you feel.
Is there something you hate about it?
Not really, haha!
How many books you have and what does your collection means to you?
I have like about 100–120 zines in my collections.
They are my most prized possession. Sometimes, I would buy two copies of each zine. Just in case anything happens to the first copy, haha!
Is there a photobook you admire?
“Randy” by Robin de Puy is my all-time favorite.
First of all, it’s a gift from my boyfriend so that makes it extra special. Also, this photography project was my most favorite cause it’s so emotionally raw and intimate. It’s a series of black and white portrait of Randy, a boy the photographer one day chanced upon during her road trip around the US.
And I just love this idea of total strangers connecting through photography. Randy as the main subject is such a beguiling character, both by looks and personality and Robin makes every portrait of him so beautiful and poignant.
It’s always the one project I keep going back to.
What should a book be to get into your collection?
It doesn’t need to be anything but a photography zine! ;)
What does it mean to you to turn your work into a sensible form of a book or a zine?
I think it takes storytelling to a different level. And that’s what's interesting about turning a digital fragment of reality into a tangible medium.
I feel … especially with photography, when you turn it into a print or a book or even a poster, it, first of all, becomes tactile and the way you approach a physical object changes. And thus the way the story is being perceived also changes.
That’s the beauty of the medium of publications in relation to photography. It changes the way the story is being told and that is both extremely interesting to look at and venture into and also very beautiful.
What you expect people should feel when opening your book?