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Citizeen #1

Citizeen is a split zine written by Katin Imes and Diane Gilleland. Citizeen is a how-to zine for building community -- something most people seem to want more of, and something many of us have trouble finding.

History of Citizeen After reading a lot of rather stodgy, social-science books about the nature of community -- and weathering many real-life ups and downs as they've tried to build their own local communities -- Katin and Diane decided to create an accessible resource to help people from all walks of life understand the advantages of community. The zine format was perfect, as it's a real-life format, easily carried out into the world and shared with other human beings. It was important to both authors that Citizeen not have any website component, because in their opinion, "Staring at computer screens does not tend to foster local community."

Citizeen #1 Citizeen #1 seeks to answer some basic questions: Why is community important? Who exactly makes up my local community? And how do I go about creating community around me?

A key concept in Issue #1 is the "Personal Exchange Economy." Every one of us has our own Personal Exchange Economy, which is the sum total of:

  1. All the skills, tools, and access you currently have. (These give you opportunities to offer help to others.)
  1. All the skills, tools, and access you currently need. (These give you opportunities to arrange trades with others.)

The more you can exchange what you have for what you need, the more enmeshed you will be in your local community, and the more support and resources you will have available to you. A handy worksheet in the zine helps you assess the current state of your own Personal Exchange Economy.

Issue #1 also contains a worksheet to help you identify exactly who the people are that make up your own community. And most people who fill this sheet out are surprised to discover that their local community is much larger than they'd realized. This issue also delves into local currencies, the power of gossip to make or destroy communities, and tips for making connections with other people in your neighborhood right now.

Future Issues Citizeen #2 will be all about groups: how to find them, why to join them, and the ins and outs of getting the most out of the group experience. Future issues will tackle internet communities, leadership, intentional co-housing, geek squads, and more.