YOU: some letters from the first five years


160 page (18cm x 24cm) book, published by Breakdown Press 2007
$20 (+ Postage)

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YOU Book side
YOU is a free weekly zine from Melbourne, lovingly and anonymously produced every week since 2001. It usually takes the form of a handwritten letter sealed with staples in a paper bag. We are proud to publish YOU as our first zine anthology.

We stumbled across YOU like lost treasure. But like to treasure, maybe we were led, through the maze of Melbourne streets and lanes to a parcel nestled between the junk piles of street press and flyers for gigs and exhibitions. What was this brown paper bag, reminiscent of childhood lunches and mixedlollies? A present too special to rip open, so we peeled around the staples not to damage it, extracted the letter from inside. Was this really free? Was this really addressed to me?

YOU is a local history, a history of local experiences.

And it is real.

What Anna Poletti has to say about YOU (an extract from the introduction to the book):
… this anthology does not mark the end of YOU, it documents the first five years of the free weekly anonymous zine YOU and in doing so, may either:
introduce you to a breath-taking example of d-i-y culture, which is both humble in its intention and mind-boggling in its scale and achievement (a project which is both large and small, intimate yet at arms length, handmade object and mass-reproduced letter)
it will give you – existing reader of YOU – the rare chance to see the ones you’ve missed, or some old favourites that have slipped out of your roughshod YOU filing system or maybe a glimpse inside a bag you couldn’t bear to open.

What Ianto Ware, indie rock stalwart and Director of the South Australian Institute for Photocopied Arts had to say about YOU:

Back in the day, by which I mean the mid nineties, you had to work to be part of a subculture. There was no MySpace back then… Back in those glorious halcyon days of my youth, you didn’t just download a couple of Slint songs and join a mailing list, you had to work at it. And, as Motorhead once said, “The chase is better than the catch.” This is what I like about ‘You’. To find out about it, you still need to leave the house and navigate the labyrinth of subculture-friendly record and book stores, run by cranky old men still wearing their battered Dinosaur Jr t-shirts, or know other zine publishers who can set you off on the right track provided you can successfully carry out a conversation about Rights of Spring or whatever long defunct whiney white boy band they’re reminiscing about.



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