Over Here Zine Fest……

 

IS HAPPENING THIS SATURDAY 13TH OCTOBER 11am -5pm!!!!

And I’m shouting because I’m very excited about it.

The whole day is a celebration and to showcase work by POC/Black/Asian/BAME creatives and to TAKE UP SPACE.

We will have over 40 stalls with printed matter, including zines, art prints and postcards.

A pop up Zine library from the folks at Salford Zine Library.

A digital art installation, Heritage Carrot. Zine readings and talks, workshops and more.

All are welcome, come support creatives of colour, learn a new skill, and submerge yourself into the world of DIY self publishing.

For full information and timings of the day, see our programme HERE.

Seeds Of Change – Sunday reading special

by Seleena

 

Over the summer I was working on a project with The International Slavery Museum in Liverpool alongside their young ambassador program.

The project was to create a zine for the museum and The Sankofa Project alongside young ambassador .

It was such fun and inspiring zine to work on. I got to sit in on interviews conducted by oral historian Christine Holt, with 5 Liverpool based female community activists. From youth workers, to carnival producer, film maker and more.

Hearing about their life stories, where they have come from to where they are now, what they do and the passion they have for it was so great to hear. I left each interview wanting to do more for my community and keep on doing it.

Together, with a summary of each interview written by Lois, and brilliant visual minutes by Claire Stringer, I got to compile Seeds of Change with some added extras like maps of Liverpool, a timeline and how you ca help your community.

I got to showcase the zine at the museum last week for Slavery Remembrance Day.

That event, the zine and all the interviews reminded me about the importance of taking up space and also taking cultural production into our own hands.

You can pick up a copy of the zine for free at The International Slavery Museum Liverpool and read more about the Sankofa Project Here!

Getting to the ROOT of things with ROOT-ed Zine

We had a quick chat with ROOT-ed Zine, who are doing some amazing work in the North West. They’ll be tabling a stall at the fest in October, so look out for them! 

Tell us about ROOT-ed!

ROOT-ed Zine is an independent bi-monthly magazine and social platform ran by me, Amber Akaunu, and Fauziya Johnson. Our aim is to use ROOT-ed zine to inspire, support, and promote creatives of colour from or currently based in the North West of England. We started the zine while in our final year of university, studying Fine Art in Liverpool. We noticed a lack of representation of people that looked like us in galleries, our university modules, and more and wanted to do something about it.

What does it mean to be a poc in the zine world, and at zine fest especially?

We have only been doing this for nearly 6 months and have not been to zine fest yet (our first will be Over Here Zine Fest), so we don’t have much experience to comment on. However, what made us start ROOT-ed zine was the lack of opportunity and representation within the art world. I feel like this is an issue amongst all areas of life, so it may be a problem within the zine community.

What would you say to potential poc zinesters who are just getting started or want to get involved?

I would say to just shut out external voices and opinions and go for it. Zines are so unique and personal, which is why I think everyone should make zines as everyone has a unique and personal perspective of life in general. Making a zine, especially one that deals with themes and issues that are close to your heart, is such a vulnerable act and so at first it may be uncomfortable to put yourself out there but after a little while, or maybe long while, you will gain confidence in your ability, your voice and therefore your zine.

Top ten things you need to make a zine…..

As International Zine month draws to a close, so does the deadline for applying to table at Over Here Zine fest.

Some of you may have stumbled across us because you want to know more POC/BAME zine makers, perhaps you’ve just discovered zines and want to know more, or maybe you’re a long time zine reader but never managed to make a zine yourself!

Well what follows are the top ten things you need to be able to make your first zine….

1. An idea.

Probably the hardest part to making a zine, coming up with an idea. That’s because the possibilities are endless. Maybe you want to make a perzine (a personal zine that is all about you!) an art zine, a comic zine, a zine full of interviews, a fanzine about your favourite thing!
Like I said, endless.
I’ve made zines about race, class, my favourite TV show, favourite band and crisps.
Zines can take a while to make, so make sure you pick an idea that you can get enthused by!

2. Paper, a pen and scissors.

That’s right, you don’t need any fancy equipment to make a zine, for a one page zine all you need is a piece of paper (A4 is a good start) a pen and some scissor…..

3. Determination.

As I said above, sometimes zines can take a while to make. Either due to lack of motivation, time or confidence. Zines are a passion project for me and should always be fun, or useful and not a chore. Holding a finished zine in your hands is a great feeling though, so keep going!

4. A reason.

If you are struggling to finish a zine or lack the determination then having a reason to make your zine will give you that extra push.
Maybe you are talking about a personal subject that means a lot to you or share a tough time you’ve been through and how you got through it, to help others. Maybe you just want to shout about the thing you love and find like minded people.
Maybe you want a way to get your art out there, stories, poems, illustrations, photos, whatever, a zine is the perfect way to do that uncompromised.
I started out just making zines to send to a couple of friends about stuff I love, and now 19 years later, I’m still making them!

5. An understanding of the four times table.

If you are making a zine bigger than one piece of paper, then thinking in multiples of four is a great help.
Say you wanted to make an A5 zine, you need to work from an A4 basis.
for example My zine I have made has 20 individual A5 pages including front and back cover, so I need to work from 5 pieces of A4 paper is 20 divided by 4 is 5.
If I had 22 individual A5 pages and I went to collate, I would end up with 2 blank pages as 22 does not divide by 4!

6. Encouragement.

I know when I am struggling to finish a zine, if i shout about it to friends and give it the hard sell, prior to that, then they will encourage me telling me all about how they can’t wait to read it. So give your yet to be made zine the hard sell, whether to mates or all over the internet.
If you don’t manage to make the zine, it’s fine , you are your own zine boss!

7.Less Skills than you think you need.

Zines can be made on a computer, through various programmes, that’s’ great and often the best way for some people, for me however I find it harder! I’m not the best at grasping how technology works.
I also love being able to make stuff with the resources and skills you have readily available to you. I enjoy skill sharing and getting people to believe they ca be creative and create something despite their ‘lack of skills’
You don’t need to be able to drawer, that’s’ why collage exists! Not a professional writer? Doesn’t matter! Don’t know how to use Photoshop? me either, I do however know how to use scissors and glue.
Making computer based zines is more accessible for some people, I just like to debunk myths that you need a plethora of skills to make a zine.

8. Cut n Paste skills

The only skill required for a DIY zine! Like I mentioned above, a pair of scissors and some glue are your friend when making a zine. you get t work out your layout manually and see how thing look.
Cut n paste can be messy, but its also tonnes of fun!

9. Ability to ask for help.

Maybe you’re stuck for ideas, or suck at using scissors and a glue stick. Perhaps you do want cool illustrations, but can’t do that, or want to learn a new skill, be it writing, drawing, Photoshop or a printing method.
Seek out a seasoned zinester, or a zine group online and ask away.

10. Have fun.

Remember, it’s not a class assignment, it’s not a stressful work project, it’s something for you to enjoy and be proud of and show the world (or just your bff!)

If you have any questions about zines drop us an email overherezinefest[at]gmail[dot]com or Instagram and Twitter @overherezinefest

 

 

Caramel launch / The power of perzines

by Heena

Yesterday was the launch of the journal Caramel by Saffa and Deena Khan through the Tender Hands Press distro.

Caramel is, at times, a devastating read. It was a much-needed reminder for me of how honest perzines (zines documenting personal experiences, thoughts and feelings) can be. I’ll have teas with people, dance and drink and joke with them for many hours. Then I’ll read their perzine. The rawness will smack me right in the chest, more than anything I’ve read in fiction or non-fiction. I’ll wonder how they can bear to carry themselves with such dignity in this world. Sometimes you have to read the zine to really find out whose company you’re in.

I wish that the journal and accompanying artwork were on permanent display and that everyone could see it. Some will find comfort. Others will hopefully see the impossible tightrope walk of growing up ‘foreign’ in this country. The tightrope I walked some twenty years ago, and my father walked some fifty years before that. The facets of our complex identities ground away until reduced to something smooth and simple. What other people want to see in us. 

 

 

White Allies Do Stuff!

Want to support us but don’t know how? Want to do more than following us on social media and liking our posts? Read this. Then, you know, follow it up. 

  1.      Educate yourselves about race, racism, and how it affects us. To paraphrase Humaira Saeed, we don’t expect your knowledge and understanding of the issues to be 10 out of 10, but you can at least educate yourselves up to 5 out of 10 before you ask us for help. Do a simple online search. And no guilt. If it won’t help us thrive, we have no time for it.
  2. Encourage us to do creative things. Be really, really encouraging, and keep on at it. Our confidence needs boosting. Remind us that our voices are vital. Keep reminding us. Encourage us to go for upcoming opportunities, like making a zine for Over Here Zine Fest for example 😉
  3.  Educate yourself about our art, culture, history and activism. We are infinitely more than saris, samosas and steel drums. Our heritage should not just be a bolt-on or an afterthought. We belong to culture and activism just as much as you do. We have a rich history that everyone should know about. And we’re not just USA-based either. Yes, James Baldwin and Toni Morrison are great and all, but there have been and continue to be plenty of badass Britain-based BAMEs chipping away at white supremacy through their art and activism. There were plenty folks resisting colonial occupation during the days of Colonialism. There are plenty of POCs in ex-European colonies doing incredibly progressive work from so-called ‘backwards’ ‘uncivilised’ countries. Read up and let them flood you with inspiration. Psst – If you’re into social / cultural history and based in the north-west of England, you might want to visit the Race Relations Archive in Manchester.

  1.       Challenge other people’s racism and prejudices because we are tired of having to defend ourselves and explain ourselves all the damn time. It seriously cuts into our being creative time. Share white ally resources.
  2.       Support our art, artists and movements. And not just during Black History Month either. Buy and consume our work.  Go to our gigs with an open mind. Support our causes. Commission us. Come to Over Here Zine Fest. At her recent book launch, during a Q&A session, a UK-based (black) African woman writer got asked by a white person in this audience about her book. He said, “Is this for me?” Do you think JK Rowling has to deal with shit like this from potential BAME readers, even though her representation of Black and Asian folk within the Harry Potter series is seriously questionable? We would guess: probably not.

 

We’re gonna keep updating this list, so watch this space. In the meantime, share the s–t out of this it.

Brown Girls taking up space

Artwork by Alison Erika Forde.

“My name’s Seleena and I am brown.

I don’t know why I decided to write this zine and I don’t really think it has any point/theme/reason behind it aside from the fact I quite fancied writing about being a brown girl”

I wrote that in January 2014 for the introduction to my new zine Brown Girl.
In late summer 2013 I decided I was going to make a zine called Brown Girl and it would be all about me.
Sort of like a perzine*.
Only I’ve always made fanzines that just happen to have a lot of me personally in them.

The first issue was a bit of a mish mash and was written entirely by me, with pieces about friends, family, music, hair, rants, my art and being a black weirdo.
I was a little nervous putting it out, even though it wasn’t a hugely deeply personal account of my life, but I guess one I have never fully documented in a zine, my blackness.

The zine was well received and even though I was unsure about it as a whole and its coherency I felt proud to be taking up space, a space so often taken up by white people. Perzines, zines, writing, self-publishing, think pieces all stuff that has a super white face.

It spurred me on to make two more issues.

Issue 2 came out in May 2015 and featured contributions from a bunch of friends. Which I thought was a great idea to break up my voice and also by this point I think I’d decided I wanted to make Brown Girl more like a Black magazine zine than a perzine, its featured Art by others, pieces on food and calling out, band profiles, great organisations and reviews of books, music, films and exhibitions.

I was aiming to make an issue a year and be a round up of thoughts, opinions and a celebration of brown girls, queer punks and black weirdos.

Sadly 2016 came and went but I managed to get Brown Girls 3 out in July 2017.

The biggest and I think best issue to date.

It had a bunch of contributions again, alongside reviews of shows, books, plays and TV, pieces I’d written on tap dance, language and sexuality, some of my art, a conversation between me and two friends about being mixed race and even a couple of interviews (with musician, dancer and writer Brontez Purnell and artist and zine maker Saffa Khan)

Despite being the most ‘magazine’ like on paper, it is my most personal to date, with me speaking honestly about being mixed race and also speaking openly for the first time about my sexuality.

It’s the issue I am most proud of.

I am currently working on issue 4, slowly but surely.

The existence of Over Here Zine Fest is spurring me on. I want to be in a room full of zines like Brown Girl and zines not at all like Brown Girl, but zines all made by POC.

I just want to see Brown Girls Taking up Space.

 

 

 

*A perzine stands for personal zine and is usually mostly about the person writing it as opposed to a zine about another subject matter. More like a diary zine.

 

Seleena

Shotgun Seamstress

One of my favourite zines of all time is Shotgun Seamstress.

 

Shotgun Seamstress was started in 2009 by then member of the band New Bloods and now amazing potter, Osa Atoe.
It is a fanzine by, for and about black punks. Issue 1-6 were compiled into a book in 2012 and since then Osa has made 2 and half more Shotgun Seamstresses.

It’s much more than a zine about black punks (although that in itself is pretty amazing) it’s a zine all about how being black is punk and how black people need DIY culture, it’s a call to arms and a reminder of how great every black, queer, feminist, misfit, artist, weirdo really is.

It’s about taking up space within subcultures that are infiltrated by white people (punk and the world of zines) but also taking up space in doing things that aren’t ‘meant’ for black people like playing punk and creating art.

Each issue is packed full of interviews, reviews, personal stories and hidden gems of black punks, queers and artists such as Brontez Purnell, The Gories, Poly Styrene, Ru Paul, Trash Kit, Vaginal Crème Davis, ESG, Marsha P Johnson, Former band mate Adee Roberson and many more.

This was the zine that inspired me to make my zine series Brown Girl. I wanted to write about being a punk of colour, I wanted to take up space and I wanted to talk about the things I love.

I urge anyone to read Shotgun Seamstress, buy the book, find a zine, read back issues online just immerse yourself in black DIY culture.
you won’t regret it.

Seleena

 

 

When Khidr Collective met Over Here – by Heena

Shout out to all the excellent people I met from Khidr Collective just over a week ago. The collective want to help young people from Muslim backgrounds develop their creative and artistic skills. What they were saying sounded all too familiar to me. Younger people with BAME backgrounds often getting over-encouraged to become doctors, lawyers and accountants and go into similar ‘safe’ jobs. Hitting walls when trying to get elders at our community centres and places of worship to recognise that younger generations want to go into the arts and and could do with support. And the arts wants us too. They need us.

I love meeting people who not only have things in common with you, but want the same things as you, and take it upon themselves to try to make those changes. Like putting together a zine. The tradition of doing things yourself is one that I like very much.

I loved that the collective were on tour, even though there wasn’t a musical instrument between them and they weren’t performing anywhere. That’s the kind of tour I can get on board with. The group are based in the London area, but were travelling around the country to make connections and squeeze in a trip to the theatre before heading back down. They packed a a lot meetups in on their day in Manchester, appearing on the radio, interviewing local visual artist, @aymussa and then coming to meet me. We met in Rusholme in Jaffa, one of my favourite places to eat falafel and Arabic salad, then they asked me if I wanted to join them as they met up with Saffa in the city centre.  We all had a nice chat then joked about joining them on their next stop in Bradford, this group of brown creatives snaking through the north of England with the snake growing longer and longer at each stop.

Oh, and Khidr Collective Issue Two is not just beautiful, it’s also full of interesting work; poetry, illustration, interviews, articles and more.

https://www.facebook.com/KhidrCollective/

http://khidrcollective.bigcartel.com/

Meet the Organisers: Part 2

Saffa

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
    I’m Saffa Khan, Pakistani illustrator and printmaker based in Manchester, UK.  I make zines and rage against machines. I explore themes of identity, culture, race and mental health in my work and turn my daily feelings into self-published printed matter. I also run @tenderhandspress and @makestuffclub
  2. How did you get into zines?
    I was introduced to zines when I became part of the ever-growing online DIY arts and feminist community around 2009. Ever since then I contributed to zines and made my own about home, belongingness and identity.
  3. Tell us a bit about your favourite zine/s by people of colour.
    Diaspora Drama zine and OOMK are two of my favourite zines by people of colour.
  4. Finally, what is your favourite snack?
    I LOVE coconut and dried mango chips!

Sandy

1 .Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Sandy O! I’m an activist, zine maker, DIY lover/do-er, facilitator and student from Manchester.
2. How did you get into zines?
I think I heard about riot grrl/feminist zines on Tumblr. I spent my last few years in school wishing I was part of an alternative DIY community. I got to curate/edit my first zine at uni, along with a zine launch and it was an amazing and stressful experience that got me hooked on collaborative arts and alternative printing.
3. Tell us a bit about your favourite zine/s by POC
Some of my current are:
Black Fly, an amazing zine about race, bodies, love and sexual health
QTIPOC Assemble, a zine imagining qtipoc with superpowers !!
Poor Lass, a zine about working class Northern lasses
4. Finally, what is your favourite snack?
Crisps 5eva!