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Paris is known for being a city rich with artistic inspiration, and a move to the City of Light is a dream come true for many. However, it can also be a daunting and challenging experience as we try to make friends, make money, and make a life here, while still following our hearts and what brought us to Paris. For those of us who are still looking for a creative outlet, and a sense of community, Join the Dots aims to offer both. A new independent Anglophone magazine and collective, Join the Dots hopes to connect people through creativity, while also raising money for charity through the publication of its quarterly zine.
British expat Holly James wanted to find a way to encourage positive change in her new home of Paris, and to find more meaning in her work. In her search to do something more creative she had the idea of creating a handmade zine, an idea which sounds pleasantly old fashioned in today͛’s world of social media and clickbaits. After bringing onboard a few friends who felt the same way, the newly formed team shared their thoughts on how the zine could make a positive impact, promote a more ethical way of life, and give back to the community. A few meetings later, and with James͛’ cat Wimpy as the team mascot, Join the Dots was born.
With one of its main aims to bring people together, the team decided the first issue would look at the theme of “Connection,” with contributors asked to interpret the idea however they wanted and in whatever medium they preferred. The team were happily surprised to receive writings, musings, poetry, photography, illustrations, and more, which helped create a rich and diverse start to the project. After weeks of hard work, the inaugural issue was finally ready in October, available in both print and online and with 100% of the proceeds going to the Abbé Pierre Foundation to help the homeless in Paris. Thanks to support from the Point Éphémère, the team was able to hold an event to launch the magazine, along with live music and a vegan bake sale, resulting in a now nearly sold out print run which has raised over 300€ so far.
The next issue will follow the theme of “Outsider,” an appropriate topic for many expats, who have surely at times felt that no matter how much we love Paris, it may not always love us back. The team are once again looking for contributors, and whether it is illustration, poetry, fiction, a memoir, or music, Join the Dots is open to all forms of art and encourages contributors to engage in the theme in whatever way they choose.
After the success of a collaging evening to design the front cover of the first issue, Join the Dots has also grown from a magazine to a collective, with the team holding more events to bring people together and raise money for the next print run, which was initially funded through donations from friends and family. After collecting pre-loved items from those looking to clear out their wardrobe, November saw the team hold a vide-grenier with vintage treasures, fashionable bargains, and plenty of tea and cake. Later in the month, Join the Dots got crafty again with a “drink and draw” evening, this time with plenty of wine on hand to get the creative juices flowing. Next up, look out for a cozy and Christmassy pub quiz to be at held at Corcorans Sacré-Cœur on December 17th. The event will start with a live acoustic set from Australian musician Liam Garcia Hardman before teams put their heads together for the quiz and try their luck in the raffle, with prizes kindly donated from expat favorites Lost in Frenchlation, Ten Belles Bread, etc. 2018 will see the launch of the next issue in January, with events such as another vide-grenier and a writers͛ workshop in the pipeline. So if your New Year’s resolution is to give more, learn more, create more, you just need to Join the Dots.
For more information and details about events, how to buy the magazine, and how to get involved head to http://jointhedotszine.com.
Lead photo credit : Join the Dots