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Brila's digital magazines come alive with philosophical ideas and imaginative features that showcase the creative projects of our youth participants, from powerful words and photos to inventive videos and designs. Through the learning process involved in creating their own publications, our participants discover novel ways of expressing themselves and gain a sense of responsibility for what they say, how they communicate it and who is affected by it.



Challenging childhood

What happens when adults try to define what it is like to be a child… then children react? A bold, provocative, touching, imaginative philozine that challenges childhood—our conceptions, our experiences, our expectations, our ideals. This publication is the lovechild of a two-part workshop: a first day with a group of thoughtful, caring adults who care about children’s voices, a second day with young philosophers ages seven through 17 who reflected and responded to the adults’ perspectives…

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So what's a zine, anyway? A zine (pronounced "zeen") is a mini-publication created by a group of like-minded people who think and create outside the box. It comes in many formats, explores fresh themes and celebrates free expression! Here are the top five things to know about the zine:

1. it's got a long history.

Since the printing press was invented, all kinds of people have chosen to make their perspectives known on paper. One early zinester was Thomas Paine, a revolutionary who published "Common Sense" to fight for U.S. independence. The term "zine" is thought to have come from Benjamin Franklin's 1739 almanac, which covered everything from weather to poems and even astrology! For years, zines have offered an alternative way for unconventional thinkers to find their voice.

2. it's all about self-publishing.

Zines are part of the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) movement because they allow people to create their own forum for self-expression. Often, zines unite people through the topics that matter to them most, targeting a specific readership that cares more about exchanging fresh ideas than conforming to the status quo. For instance, science fiction zines were born as a result of writers receiving way too many rejection letters from publishers and opting to take charge of their own dreams!


3. it's formed an eclectic family.

From activism and punk music to sci-fi and girl power, zines have bred a bunch of relatives all keen on sharing what they love in their own special way. Just like many big families, the zine clan is a loud, bustling crew of characters spread out across many continents, but all faithful to their DIY roots. And their version of a holiday dinner is a series of special zining events, like the 24-Hour-Zine-Thing and Canzine. Plus, they all come together in July for International Zine Month!


4. it's made the internet home.

The art of zines was born in the pre-Internet era. Before blogs and tweets, if you wanted to get your message out in the world, all you needed was a good idea and some paper scraps. Zinesters distributed their publications in bookstores, libraries and album shops, or sent their issues to subscribers through good old snail mail. In the digital age, zines have lost some popularity but they're making a comeback online, and Brila is proud to be part of the movement!


5. it's a series of little lives.

Each zine is like a little life: it starts as a twinkle in the eye, goes through all kinds of growth cycles and emerges as an accomplished, complex creature. At Brila, our participants become a team of zinesters who work together to create the words and images that form their zine's foundations as well as the audio and video clips that bring it to life. Every issue is unique in its content, while always honouring the eco-friendly nature of online publishing.

Stand up & stand out! Brila's zines are the delightful concoctions of the creative masterpieces we receive from youth. We welcome all sorts of submissions, be they articles, editorials, short stories, poems, photographs, drawings, comic strips, songs, spoken word, film featurettes or mini-documentaries. The creative works we publish have these things in common:

  • originality (plagiarism is a big no-no)
  • imagination (let those creative sparks fly!)
  • appropriateness (nothing rude, lewd or crude)
  • consideration (no offensive rubbish)

With your submission, please email us a short bio (150 words) and your contact info (full name, phone number and email address―for internal use only).

Make a zine with your class!

Our youth participants continually blow us away with their bold ideas and creative works. Give it a try!

We receive so much brilliant stuff, it's hard to squeeze it all in so we do reserve the right to edit and decline submissions.

PO Box 47535

RPO Plateau Mont-Royal

Montreal QC H2H 2S8


Brila is a registered charity (#82689 1251 RR0001) and non-for-profit organization under the Canada Revenue Agency. Our organization is nonpartisan and will not advocate any particular religious, political or moral views. The views expressed in Brila's digital magazines are strictly those of our participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organization and our staff. Our online digests are sent through our mailing list only a half dozen times per year—we vow not to clog your inbox. All the photos on this website are of our participants—no stock images here! The contents of this site should not be reproduced, captured or otherwise used without our expressed permission.



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