Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Bernard Chandran


Bernard Chandran S/S 2012, capsule illustrated by Gabriel Ayala

I feel like myself and Bernard Chandran are good pals. He’d probably see it differently, but the first show I ever saw during a fashion week was his, and since then I haven’t missed a single one. I almost did this time – cruelly his show clashed with one of my other favourites, Jean Pierre Braganza. I was worried sick – who would I choose? In the end, the Amelia’s Magazine team had got JPB more than covered and I decided that I couldn’t miss Bernard after all.


Bernard Chandran S/S 2012, illustrated by Cruz

It’s a bloody good job I was so desperate to see it, because his show was at the Il Bottaccio venue on Grosvenor Place. If this doesn’t mean anything to you, it’s basically a 20 minute cycle by Boris from Somerset House, fashion week’s epicentre. It might not sound much, but when you’ve got less than twenty minutes to get there, it’s boiling hot on the Strand and rammed with buses churning emissions in your face and you’re prone to perspiration, it’s less than entirely ideal.






All photography by Matt Bramford

I arrived at the venue in a complete state. Perspiring, thirsty, hungry and miserable, I just wanted to get inside and get it over with. Luckily entrance was a breeze, and I found a good seat on which to waft my invite frantically and avoid glares from immaculate fashionos free of any perspiration. I sat next to Lida from The First To Know – I’ve spoken to her electronically a few times, and it was great to finally meet her. We chatted about a recent article of hers for the Ecologist where she speaks to Chandran about the lack of available craftsmanship in our country, and it’s definitely worth a read.


Bernard Chandran S/S 2012, illustrated by Gabriel Ayala

Bernard’s invite featured a duplicated picture of a glamorous woman from the 1950s. I had already guessed (naturally, as myself and Bernard are so friendly) that it was his mother. She had the same delicate bone structure and exotic appeal. It turns out that these two subjects – the 1950s and the matriarch of the Chandran dynasty – where Bernard’s inspiration this season.





The show featured many of Bernard’s now signature styles, but this time he’d cranked up the glamour factor and it really suited his unique dedication to sculpture and proportion.


Bernard Chandran S/S 2012, illustrated by Cruz

Look after look brought glamour, sophistication, elegant craftsmanship and a unique approach to dynamic cutting. Floor-length silk numbers, beautifully simple, sat happily with futuristic blazers with angular oversized lapels and a-line dresses with feather panels. The colour palette was a varied as it could be – pale pinks and blues, gold, silver, and vivid cobalt and fuchsia. Chandran’s evident bravery in his use of colour was a dominant feature once again.

It was quite a mix, and that’s what I quite like about Chandran; you can’t label his collections with this season’s buzz words and you could try to squeeze him into a box but he’ll burst out of it, wearing feathers and glittered fabrics and assymetric cuts (metapohrically speaking, of course).





The finale brought a stunning black model onto the catwalk wearing a red-carpet finest – a dazzling body-con number with a sweetheart neckline and a fishtail train. Delicate petal shapes in a complimentary colour had been applied all over the frock, teamed with high-gloss evening gloves. The model glided past us oozing sex appeal with a look of confidence that only this sort of piece can give.





Bernard, you didn’t let me down. Until next time, pal…

Categories ,1950s, ,Bernard Chandran, ,Boris Bikes, ,catwalk, ,Cruz, ,Feathers, ,First To Know, ,Front Row, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Glamour, ,Glitter, ,Grosvenor Place, ,Il Bottaccio, ,Lida Hujic, ,London Fashion Week, ,Off Schedule, ,Pop PR, ,review, ,S/S 2012, ,Sweat, ,the ecologist, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: J Maskrey by Amelia

J Maskrey by Bex Glover.
J Maskrey by Bex Glover.
J Maskrey by Bex Glover.

J Maskrey is responsible for a lot. You know all those tacky glitter tattoos that you can buy in every chemist and pound shop? Well, troche she’s the one to blame. This former make-up artist invented “skin jewellery” over 10 years ago, page when she glued some Swarovski crystals onto an adhesive backing. But those glittery Superdrug rose tattoos just ain’t the same, patient so despite the mass dumbing down of her initial idea J Maskrey has managed to maintain a dazzling career at the epicentre of fashion cooldom, and it is on the catwalk that J Maskrey‘s jewelled masterpieces really glitter.

J Maskrey by Bex Glover.
J Maskrey by Bex Glover.
J Maskrey by Bex Glover.
J Maskrey by Bex Glover.

Once again man wearing rubber, gimp mask and inflatable wig was front row. In at least his second outfit of the day for J Maskrey’s evening show at Victoria House. Where do these people change? And what on earth was his fashion statement? I can put up with any amount of pain in the name of erm, beauty standing out from the crowd. And believe me I know how much he suffered under those bright runway lights because when he stood up to leave the show the sweat literally flooded out of his sleeves into a puddle on the floor. Nice. Rather you than me – lady posing with the Gimp Fashionista.

Gimp Fashionista at Iris Van Herpen
Gimp Fashionista at Iris Van Herpen.

Gimp Fashionista dripping on a fan at J Maskrey.
Gimp Fashionista dripping on a fan at J Maskrey.

J Maskrey has had a long relationship with uber stylist Judy Blame, and their collaboration continues. Against a curtained stage set the slow moving models posed beautifully at intervals under the bright lighting before gathering en masse at the helm of the catwalk, making this show a dream for good photography.

J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey used careful staging and immaculate posing to create a beautiful catwalk show. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

A boy’s smooth back and arms were entirely covered with black glittery shapes, a girl with a severe bobbed haircut revealed a cluster of leopard spots racing across her chest and back, another bared glittered slashes across her breasts, culminating with dangling beads dripping like congealed blood.

J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

A demure girl with high neckline and primly bunned hair held her hands gently to her waist, where the light glistened on Swarovski crystals dripping from her delicate fingernails. Gigantic Geisha-inspired headdresses teetered on top of heads.

J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

This was a beautiful spectacle, but one where the clothes appeared to come a distant second to the dazzling performance. Looking back it becomes more apparent that there some highly desirable pieces buried beneath all the glitzy showpieces. Take the heavily beaded skullcap and cape, cute little nobbled skate skirt and chain print top – all actually very wearable. And not for nothing did I spot J Maskrey herself wearing the slouchy t-shirt dress with huge glittered logo at the On/Off party. To which I was dragged kicking and screaming “But I don’t do fashion parties anymore… oh okay just for one cocktail then.”

J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Needless to say I got in a bad mood very quickly because I really don’t know anyone in fashion anymore, and usually can’t remember anyone’s names or what they actually do, which further exacerbates the situation when they come over to me all chatty. And then my Canon 5D Mark II camera broke down with an error 20 (it does this every now and again, usually when I really REALLY need to use it) so I could no longer hide behind my camera – which I often do as a way of disengaging from situations.

Ladies in the loo at the On/Off party.
Ladies in the loo at the On/Off party.

Luckily it was at this point that the Sugababes arrived so we clambered on a bench to watch them sing before we left. You know what? They were definitely singing live with a good amount of gusto, and they certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves. It was really very sweet. And a good way to end an exceedingly long day, with just one of those small surprises that every fashion week throws up.

Sugababes performing at the On/Off party.
Sugababes performing at the On/Off party.

Categories ,Bex Glover, ,Canon, ,Crystals, ,Fashionista, ,Geisha, ,Gimp, ,Glitter, ,Headdresses, ,J Maskrey, ,Judy Blame, ,menswear, ,onoff, ,Skin Jewellery, ,Sugababes, ,Swarovski, ,Victoria House

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: J Maskrey by Amelia

J Maskrey by Bex Glover.
J Maskrey by Bex Glover.

J Maskrey is responsible for a lot. You know all those tacky glitter tattoos that you can buy in every chemist and pound shop? Well, she’s the one to blame. This former make-up artist invented “skin jewellery” over 10 years ago, when she glued some Swarovski crystals onto an adhesive backing. But those glittery Superdrug rose tattoos just ain’t the same, so despite the mass dumbing down of her initial idea J Maskrey has managed to maintain a dazzling career at the epicentre of fashion cooldom, and it is on the catwalk that J Maskrey’s jewelled masterpieces really glitter.

J Maskrey by Bex Glover.
J Maskrey by Bex Glover.
J Maskrey by Bex Glover.
J Maskrey by Bex Glover.

Once again man wearing rubber, gimp mask and inflatable wig was front row. In at least his second outfit of the day for J Maskrey’s evening show at Victoria House. Where do these people change? And what on earth was his fashion statement? I can put up with any amount of pain in the name of erm, beauty standing out from the crowd. And believe me I know how much he suffered under those bright runway lights because when he stood up to leave the show the sweat literally flooded out of his sleeves into a puddle on the floor. Nice. Rather you than me – lady posing with the Gimp Fashionista.

Gimp Fashionista at Iris Van Herpen
Gimp Fashionista at Iris Van Herpen.

Gimp Fashionista dripping on a fan at J Maskrey.
Gimp Fashionista dripping on a fan at J Maskrey.

J Maskrey has had a long relationship with uber stylist Judy Blame, and their collaboration continues. Against a curtained stage set the slow moving models posed beautifully at intervals under the bright lighting before gathering en masse at the helm of the catwalk, making this show a dream for good photography.

J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey used careful staging and immaculate posing to create a beautiful catwalk show. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

A boy’s smooth back and arms were entirely covered with black glittery shapes, a girl with a severe bobbed haircut revealed a cluster of leopard spots racing across her chest and back, another bared glittered slashes across her breasts, culminating with dangling beads dripping like congealed blood.

J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

A demure girl with high neckline and primly bunned hair held her hands gently to her waist, where the light glistened on Swarovski crystals dripping from her delicate fingernails. Gigantic Geisha-inspired headdresses teetered on top of heads.

J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

This was a beautiful spectacle, but one where the clothes appeared to come a distant second to the dazzling performance. Looking back it becomes more apparent that there some highly desirable pieces buried beneath all the glitzy showpieces. Take the heavily beaded skullcap and cape, cute little nobbled skate skirt and chain print top – all actually very wearable. And not for nothing did I spot J Maskrey herself wearing the slouchy t-shirt dress with huge glittered logo at the On/Off party. To which I was dragged kicking and screaming “But I don’t do fashion parties anymore… oh okay just for one cocktail then.”

J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Needless to say I got in a bad mood very quickly because I really don’t know anyone in fashion anymore, and usually can’t remember anyone’s names or what they actually do, which further exacerbates the situation when they come over to me all chatty. And then my Canon 5D Mark II camera broke down with an error 20 (it does this every now and again, usually when I really REALLY need to use it) so I could no longer hide behind my camera – which I often do as a way of disengaging from situations.

Ladies in the loo at the On/Off party.
Ladies in the loo at the On/Off party.

Luckily it was at this point that the Sugababes arrived so we clambered on a bench to watch them sing before we left. You know what? They were definitely singing live with a good amount of gusto, and they certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves. It was really very sweet. And a good way to end an exceedingly long day, with just one of those small surprises that every fashion week throws up.

Sugababes performing at the On/Off party.
Sugababes performing at the On/Off party.

Categories ,Bex Glover, ,Canon, ,Crystals, ,Fashionista, ,Geisha, ,Gimp, ,Glitter, ,Headdresses, ,J Maskrey, ,Judy Blame, ,menswear, ,onoff, ,Skin Jewellery, ,Sugababes, ,Swarovski, ,Victoria House

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Amelia’s Magazine | Lako Bukia: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Lako Bukia AW 2012 by Love Amelia
Lako Bukia A/W 2012 by Love Amelia.

This season Lako Bukia went all futuristic for Broken Mirrors in shades of silver and black, a collection that was inspired by her Georgian heritage once again, and a traditional fear of looking into shattered glass. In contrast to last season’s floaty print focused offering, this saw a return to more structured tailoring and a harder line – enhanced by the styling of Claudia Behnke, which featured severe metal top knots and an extremely strong flattened black brow. This is something we’ve seen a lot of on the catwalks this season: Desperate Scousewives, you have a lot to answer to.

Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia A/W 2012 by Gemma Cotterell
Lako Bukia A/W 2012 by Gemma Cotterell.

Fabrics were predominantly silverised, in silk, leather or lame – the last being notoriously hard to cut well. I’m afraid that lame reminds me of my pre-pubescent attempts to create party wear, circa 1985, and it’s very hard to make it look like a luxury fabric.

Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia A/W 2012 by Gaarte
Lako Bukia A/W 2012 by Gaarte.

There was an element of the 70s evident in the collection – wide legged glittery pants wouldn’t look out of place in the disco – whilst skater skirts teamed with sheer panelled blouses would look more at home on the deck of the Starship Enterprise. The shoes were possibly from another world entirely – unwearable in everyday life but simply stunning: slightly winged and with heels constructed out of towering pillars of jagged edged glass.

Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia A/W 2012 by Claire Jones
Lako Bukia A/W 2012 by Claire Jones.

There were some beautiful and intriguing elements to the collection, in particular some tight silver trousers and a stunning knee length dress which both featured a shattering glass emblem – the textured shards had the effect of toning down some of the overt glitz, creating a silvery sense of style. Whilst hardly practical I adored the last evening dress, which featured a stunning bodice made out of actual shattered mirror.

Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
For the finale the catwalk head was showered with confetti (in silver, yup you’ve guessed it) – which went off with a loud bang. Down at the catwalk entrance we didn’t know what had happened and it certainly caused a skipping of the heart beat and a few nervous giggles around me. There’s nothing like an unexpected fright at LFW to lighten the mood.

Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Lako Bukia AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,70s, ,A/W 2012, ,Broken Mirrors, ,Claire Jones, ,Claudia Behnke, ,Desperate Scousewives, ,disco, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Futuristic, ,Gaarte, ,Gemma Cotterell, ,Georgian, ,Glitter, ,lako bukia, ,Lame, ,Love Amelia, ,review, ,Silver, ,Starship Enterprise, ,Superstition

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Amelia’s Magazine | Introducing The Weird and Wonderful Art of Thuva-Lisa Ceder

aniela-murphy-zinesymposium
Illustration by Aniela Murphy/Neltonmandelton.

The Rag Factory, this Brick Lane, page will be playing host to The London Zine Symposium on the 29th of May, capsule an event celebrating DIY culture, promoting communal idea sharing and, naturally, selling a few zines. Inspired by the Portland Zine Symposium, it’s been running since 2005 and just keeps getting bigger. This year there are over 70 stalls dedicated to zines, small presses and comics, with crafty bits to see and do round every corner, as well as discussions, readings and workshops.

The Symposium runs from 12pm, kicking off with the kids’ comic workshop, making things nice, and monstrous, (pretend to be my guardian? Anyone?) and all through the day you can make your own artist trading cards! They’ll be providing all the ingredients you need, though you’re welcome to take along your own cutouts and magazine bits. These excite me more than necessary, probably because I always wanted to be a Pokémon…

The first discussion of the afternoon will focus on the DIY ethos of zine-making and its applications in the wider world – a must for anyone interested in subverting mainstream media and working their socks off to get heard. It’s not limited to the world of paper either, they’ll also be talking about forming bands and organising spoken word tours. Charlotte Cooper, a queer fat researcher and activist, and Josie Long, that stand- up comedian, are among those reading from selections and the event will be nicely rounded off by Tea Hvala and a collaborative writing working, taking the surrealist drawing game the exquisite corpse and translating it to writing, so that each story becomes everybody’s story.

aniela-murphy-zinesymposium
Illustration by Aniela Murphy/Neltonmandelton.

I asked Edd Baldry, one of the organisers, about the superiority of zines to blogs, the importance of DIY culture, and whether they’ve ever been overwhelmed by care bears…

Could you tell us a bit about the beginnings of the London Zine ? Symposium? What inspired you to start it up? Was it very popular at ?first? How has it grown?
Edd Baldry : I was part of a collective squatting a cool building in central ? London, which we’d called the Institute for Autonomy. I was helping to? run an infoshop in the space as well as producing a large collective ? zine – Rancid News – which we distributed across the UK and Europe. So ?I was interested in getting more zine kids involved in radical spaces and radical spaces having zines that weren’t necessarily explicitly ? political. I’ve got to acknowledge though that the name, and the ? inspiration, was taken wholesale from the Portland Zine Symposium who ? do an awesome event in the US north-west every year.? From our point of view it was really popular straight away. I wish ?all the projects I’m involved with were this easy to organise. We had ? about 400 people come, with 12 stalls, at the first event and it’s ?grown steadily each year. Last year we had about 1,400 people come along, with 64 stalls selling their wares.? ? ?

What, exactly, is a zine and what part does it play in DIY culture? ? What makes a good zine? In this techno-focused age, what’s their ?attraction? Isn’t it easier and quicker to start/read a blog?
?EB: A zine is really whatever you want it to be. The only caveat is that ?it’s something that you produce yourself for yourself – at least? that’s what I think of when I think of zines. I think that zines have ? been a vital part of DIY culture since they became prevalent in the ? punk and radical scenes in the late 70s. Riot Grrrl’s a pretty good ?example where the ideas and culture of that scene were communicated ?through zines just as much as they were through the music.? ?It’s difficult to say what makes a ‘good’ zine – there’s such a variety that there’s no magic bullet. There are zines that are amazing ?because they’re beautifully illustrated, others because the ?illustrations look like a three year-old drew them. I guess anything ?that has passion for something in them is interesting and zines are no ?exception.? ?I think the attraction of zines has grown as the internet has. Having ?something that is tangible and final is quite attractive in a world of ?24 hour rolling news and ever changing churn of the internet. Also, ?zines can be read when you’re having a bath, a definite advantage over computers!? ? ?

Does the zine scene go through fads and phases like every other scene? ?Have you ever been overwhelmed by frogophiles, or carebear ?afficionados, for instance?
?EB: No, the symposium’s yet to be overrun by carebear or frog zines. But ?yeah the zine scene does tend to go through waves every few years. A ?few years ago it felt like it was totally dominated by punk zines, in ?2007/8 it felt like a lot of people who made comics started consciously ?making them as zines. More recently it seems like a lot of ? illustration students have been really taken by making zines. Those? trends tend to be reflected in the people who apply for stalls at the? London Zine Symposium – this year we’ve had loads of applications from ? various groups of students around the country.? ? ?

What is the zine scene like in London? Do you think there’s a good ? level of community? What kind of people get into it? ? What are a few of your favourite zines? Is there anyone you’re excited about meeting ?at the symposium?
?EB: I think there’s a pretty vibrant zine scene in London. A lot of that ?has to do with the group of people running the Alternative Press ?project that’s done a bunch of small scale events at places like the ? Foundry, as well as a couple of larger ones at the St Aloysius centre ?near Euston. It’s meant that there’s now zine events happening throughout the year in London, which can only be a good thing. And yeah, there’s certainly a supportive scene amongst zinesters, there’s ?not much machismo or competiveness that you get in other scenes that ?I’ve been heavily involved with.? ?I’m not sure there’s one type of person that makes zines; it takes all sorts. I guess it’s people who feel they have something to say but ?don’t want to go through the traditional channels to express ?themselves. And I’ve discovered so many great people and great zines ?whilst being involved that that’s a pretty impossible question to ?answer. Though Maximum Rock N Roll, Punk Planet, My Evil Twin Sister, ?Inside Front, 12o5 and Scanner will always have a place close to my ? heart!? ? At the symposium I’m looking forward to meeting Matthew Murray – who’s ?running the artist trading card exchange – and Geoff – who’s running ?the kids comix workshop. And of course in general I’m just looking? forward to seeing old friends from across the continent!? ? ?

Zine symposium

How important do you think DIY culture is? What are your views on DIY as a form of resistance to mainstream media and their messages?
?EB: I think DIY’s vital. I think it gives resources and space for radical thought to grow and exist and hopefully gives an alternative to the ?hegemony of mainstream culture. You need a radical culture to exist for any radical change to happen. DIY is, obviously, way bigger than ?just zines though. I think zines can be used by radicals as a way to quickly communicate with people, but I’m not sure that making a zine ?is necessarily inherently radical. But DIY, in general, is certainly ? a corner stone in any anti-authoritarian organising be it squatting ?social centres, taking over the streets or organising a really? awesome gig!? ? ?

I like the idea of artist trading cards! Will there be other crafty ? things to see and do around the symposium? And why is the comic ?workshop only for kids?
?EB: Yeah, the artist trading cards should be cool. And I know it’s a shame ? that the comic workshop is only for kids, but then again kids tend to ?get left out of zine culture sometimes, so it’s cool that they’re going to have their own space at this year’s Symposium.

Do you organise any events based around DIY? culture other than the LSZ? If so, what are they and how can people ? get involved?
EB: There’ll be another zine in a day project at this year’s symposium, which hopefully will be printed on the day itself if all goes according to? plan. I’m afraid LZS is enough of an event to last us all a full year. ?We all put on DIY gigs, organise protests, work in social centres and ? what have you, but nothing on the scale of the Zine Symposium!? ? ?

The Individual Zine Rocks table encourages people with just one zine? to get involved, first-timers or small scale creators; do you have any? tips for people interested in getting into the zine scene on getting ?heard about?
?EB: It’s tricky to give specific pointers, though it’s worth reading Alex ?Wrekk’s ‘Stolen Sharpie Revolution’, which does a really good job of ?explaining the zine scene and all it’s myriad quirks. If you’re interested in making a zine you should just make one. Better to have tried and failed than not have tried at all! If you wanna get heard about come along to zine events, trade zines with other people and ?make sure you get copies into any shop that will have them!? ?

You heard what the man said! Come along to the London Zine Symposium, The Rag Factory, Henage Street, just off Brick Lane, Saturday 29th May 12-6pm. Our original listing is posted here.

The Rag Factory, case Brick Lane, medications will be playing host to The London Zine Symposium on the 29th of May, approved an event celebrating DIY culture, promoting communal idea sharing and, naturally, selling a few zines. Inspired by the Portland Zine Symposium, it’s been running since 2005 and just keeps getting bigger. This year there are over 70 stalls dedicated to zines, small presses and comics, with crafty bits to see and do round every corner, as well as discussions, readings and workshops.

The Symposium runs from 12pm, kicking off with the kids’ comic workshop, making things nice, and monstrous, (pretend to be my guardian? Anyone?) and all through the day you can make your own artist trading cards! They’ll be providing all the ingredients you need, though you’re welcome to take along your own cutouts and magazine bits. These excite me more than necessary, probably because I always wanted to be a Pokémon…

The first discussion of the afternoon will focus on the DIY ethos of zine-making and its applications in the wider world – a must for anyone interested in subverting mainstream media and working their socks off to get heard. It’s not limited to the world of paper either, they’ll also be talking about forming bands and organising spoken word tours. Charlotte Cooper, a queer fat researcher and activist, and Josie Long, that stand- up comedian, are among those reading from selections and the event will be nicely rounded off by Tea Hvala and a collaborative writing working, taking the surrealist drawing game the exquisite corpse and translating it to writing, so that each story becomes everybody’s story.

I asked Edd Baldry, one of the organisers, about the superiority of zines to blogs, the importance of DIY culture, and whether they’ve ever been overwhelmed by care bears…

Could you tell us a bit about the beginnings of the London Zine ? Symposium? What inspired you to start it up? Was it very popular at ?first? How has it grown?
Edd Baldry: I was part of a collective squatting a cool building in central ? London, which we’d called the Institute for Autonomy. I was helping to? run an infoshop in the space as well as producing a large collective ? zine – Rancid News – which we distributed across the UK and Europe. So ?I was interested in getting more zine kids involved in radical spaces and radical spaces having zines that weren’t necessarily explicitly ? political. I’ve got to acknowledge though that the name, and the ? inspiration, was taken wholesale from the Portland Zine Symposium who ? do an awesome event in the US north-west every year.? From our point of view it was really popular straight away. I wish ?all the projects I’m involved with were this easy to organise. We had ? about 400 people come, with 12 stalls, at the first event and it’s ?grown steadily each year. Last year we had about 1,400 people come along, with 64 stalls selling their wares.? ? ?

What, exactly, is a zine and what part does it play in DIY culture? ? What makes a good zine? In this techno-focused age, what’s their ?attraction? Isn’t it easier and quicker to start/read a blog?
?EB: A zine is really whatever you want it to be. The only caveat is that ?it’s something that you produce yourself for yourself – at least? that’s what I think of when I think of zines. I think that zines have ? been a vital part of DIY culture since they became prevalent in the ? punk and radical scenes in the late 70s. Riot Grrrl’s a pretty good ?example where the ideas and culture of that scene were communicated ?through zines just as much as they were through the music.? ?It’s difficult to say what makes a ‘good’ zine – there’s such a variety that there’s no magic bullet. There are zines that are amazing ?because they’re beautifully illustrated, others because the ?illustrations look like a three year-old drew them. I guess anything ?that has passion for something in them is interesting and zines are no ?exception.? ?I think the attraction of zines has grown as the internet has. Having ?something that is tangible and final is quite attractive in a world of ?24 hour rolling news and ever changing churn of the internet. Also, ?zines can be read when you’re having a bath, a definite advantage over computers!? ? ?

Does the zine scene go through fads and phases like every other scene? ?Have you ever been overwhelmed by frogophiles, or carebear ?afficionados, for instance?
? EB: No, the symposium’s yet to be overrun by carebear or frog zines. But ?yeah the zine scene does tend to go through waves every few years. A ?few years ago it felt like it was totally dominated by punk zines, in ?2007/8 it felt like a lot of people who made comics started consciously ?making them as zines. More recently it seems like a lot of ? illustration students have been really taken by making zines. Those? trends tend to be reflected in the people who apply for stalls at the? London Zine Symposium – this year we’ve had loads of applications from ? various groups of students around the country.? ? ?

What is the zine scene like in London? Do you think there’s a good ? level of community? What kind of people get into it? ? What are a few of your favourite zines? Is there anyone you’re excited about meeting ?at the symposium?
? EB: I think there’s a pretty vibrant zine scene in London. A lot of that ?has to do with the group of people running the Alternative Press ?project that’s done a bunch of small scale events at places like the ? Foundry, as well as a couple of larger ones at the St Aloysius centre ?near Euston. It’s meant that there’s now zine events happening throughout the year in London, which can only be a good thing. And yeah, there’s certainly a supportive scene amongst zinesters, there’s ?not much machismo or competiveness that you get in other scenes that ?I’ve been heavily involved with.? ?I’m not sure there’s one type of person that makes zines; it takes all sorts. I guess it’s people who feel they have something to say but ?don’t want to go through the traditional channels to express ?themselves. And I’ve discovered so many great people and great zines ?whilst being involved that that’s a pretty impossible question to ?answer. Though Maximum Rock N Roll, Punk Planet, My Evil Twin Sister, ?Inside Front, 12o5 and Scanner will always have a place close to my ? heart!? ? At the symposium I’m looking forward to meeting Matthew Murray – who’s ?running the artist trading card exchange – and Geoff – who’s running ?the kids comix workshop. And of course in general I’m just looking? forward to seeing old friends from across the continent!? ? ?

How important do you think DIY culture is? What are your views on DIY as a form of resistance to mainstream media and their messages?
?EB: I think DIY’s vital. I think it gives resources and space for radical thought to grow and exist and hopefully gives an alternative to the ?hegemony of mainstream culture. You need a radical culture to exist for any radical change to happen. DIY is, obviously, way bigger than ?just zines though. I think zines can be used by radicals as a way to quickly communicate with people, but I’m not sure that making a zine ?is necessarily inherently radical. But DIY, in general, is certainly ? a corner stone in any anti-authoritarian organising be it squatting ?social centres, taking over the streets or organising a really? awesome gig!? ? ?

I like the idea of artist trading cards! Will there be other crafty ? things to see and do around the symposium? And why is the comic ?workshop only for kids?
? EB: Yeah, the artist trading cards should be cool. And I know it’s a shame ? that the comic workshop is only for kids, but then again kids tend to ?get left out of zine culture sometimes, so it’s cool that they’re going to have their own space at this year’s Symposium.

Do you organise any events based around DIY? culture other than the LSZ? If so, what are they and how can people ? get involved?
EB: There’ll be another zine in a day project at this year’s symposium, which hopefully will be printed on the day itself if all goes according to? plan. I’m afraid LZS is enough of an event to last us all a full year. ?We all put on DIY gigs, organise protests, work in social centres and ? what have you, but nothing on the scale of the Zine Symposium!? ? ?

The Individual Zine Rocks table encourages people with just one zine? to get involved, first-timers or small scale creators; do you have any? tips for people interested in getting into the zine scene on getting ?heard about?
? EB: It’s tricky to give specific pointers, though it’s worth reading Alex ?Wrekk’s ‘Stolen Sharpie Revolution’, which does a really good job of ?explaining the zine scene and all it’s myriad quirks. If you’re interested in making a zine you should just make one. Better to have tried and failed than not have tried at all! If you wanna get heard about come along to zine events, trade zines with other people and ?make sure you get copies into any shop that will have them!? ?

You heard what the man said! Come along to the London Zine Symposium, The Rag Factory, Henage Street, just off Brick Lane, Saturday 29th May 12-6pm.

The Rag Factory, viagra approved Brick Lane, health will be playing host to The London Zine Symposium on the 29th of May, an event celebrating DIY culture, promoting communal idea sharing and, naturally, selling a few zines. Inspired by the Portland Zine Symposium, it’s been running since 2005 and just keeps getting bigger. This year there are over 70 stalls dedicated to zines, small presses and comics, with crafty bits to see and do round every corner, as well as discussions, readings and workshops.

The Symposium runs from 12pm, kicking off with the kids’ comic workshop, making things nice, and monstrous, (pretend to be my guardian? Anyone?) and all through the day you can make your own artist trading cards! They’ll be providing all the ingredients you need, though you’re welcome to take along your own cutouts and magazine bits. These excite me more than necessary, probably because I always wanted to be a Pokémon…

The first discussion of the afternoon will focus on the DIY ethos of zine-making and its applications in the wider world – a must for anyone interested in subverting mainstream media and working their socks off to get heard. It’s not limited to the world of paper either, they’ll also be talking about forming bands and organising spoken word tours. Charlotte Cooper, a queer fat researcher and activist, and Josie Long, that stand- up comedian, are among those reading from selections and the event will be nicely rounded off by Tea Hvala and a collaborative writing working, taking the surrealist drawing game the exquisite corpse and translating it to writing, so that each story becomes everybody’s story.

I asked Edd Baldry, one of the organisers, about the superiority of zines to blogs, the importance of DIY culture, and whether they’ve ever been overwhelmed by care bears…

Amelia Wells: Could you tell us a bit about the beginnings of the London Zine ? Symposium? What inspired you to start it up? Was it very popular at ?first? How has it grown?? ? Edd Baldry: I was part of a collective squatting a cool building in central ? London, which we’d called the Institute for Autonomy. I was helping to ? run an infoshop in the space as well as producing a large collective ? zine – Rancid News – which we distributed across the UK and Europe. So ? I was interested in getting more zine kids involved in radical spaces ? and radical spaces having zines that weren’t necessarily explicitly ? political. I’ve got to acknowledge though that the name, and the ? inspiration, was taken wholesale from the Portland Zine Symposium who ? do an awesome event in the US north-west every year.? ? ? From our point of view it was really popular straight away. I wish ? all the projects I’m involved with were this easy to organise. We had ? about 400 people come, with 12 stalls, at the first event and it’s ? grown steadily each year. Last year we had about 1,400 people come ? along, with 64 stalls selling their wares.? ? ? AW: What, exactly, is a zine and what part does it play in DIY culture? ? What makes a good zine? In this techno-focused age, what’s their ? attraction? Isn’t it easier and quicker to start/read a blog?
? EB:A zine is really whatever you want it to be. The only caveat is that ? it’s something that you produce yourself for yourself – at least ? that’s what I think of when I think of zines. I think that zines have ? been a vital part of DIY culture since they became prevalent in the ? punk and radical scenes in the late 70s. Riot Grrrl’s a pretty good ? example where the ideas and culture of that scene were communicated ? through zines just as much as they were through the music.? ? It’s difficult to say what makes a ‘good’ zine – there’s such a ? variety that there’s no magic bullet. There are zines that are amazing ? because they’re beautifully illustrated, others because the ? illustrations look like a three year-old drew them. I guess anything ? that has passion for something in them is interesting and zines are no ? exception.? ? I think the attraction of zines has grown as the internet has. Having ? something that is tangible and final is quite attractive in a world of ? 24 hour rolling news and ever changing churn of the internet. Also, ? zines can be read when you’re having a bath, a definite advantage over ? computers!? ? ? AW: Does the zine scene go through fads and phases like every other scene? ? Have you ever been overwhelmed by frogophiles, or carebear ? afficionados, for instance?
? EB:No, the symposium’s yet to be overrun by carebear or frog zines. But ? yeah the zine scene does tend to go through waves every few years. A ? few years ago it felt like it was totally dominated by punk zines, in ? 2007/8 it felt like a lot of people who made comics started consciously ? making them as zines. More recently it seems like a lot of ? illustration students have been really taken by making zines. Those ? trends tend to be reflected in the people who apply for stalls at the ? London Zine Symposium – this year we’ve had loads of applications from ? various groups of students around the country.? ? ? AW: What is the zine scene like in London? Do you think there’s a good ? level of community? What kind of people get into it? ? What are a few of your favourite zines? Is there anyone you’re excited about meeting ? at the symposium?
? EB:I think there’s a pretty vibrant zine scene in London. A lot of that ? has to do with the group of people running the Alternative Press ? project that’s done a bunch of small scale events at places like the ? Foundry, as well as a couple of larger ones at the St Aloysius centre ? near Euston. It’s meant that there’s now zine events happening ? throughout the year in London, which can only be a good thing. And ? yeah, there’s certainly a supportive scene amongst zinesters, there’s ? not much machismo or competiveness that you get in other scenes that ? I’ve been heavily involved with.? ? I’m not sure there’s one type of person that makes zines; it takes all ? sorts. I guess it’s people who feel they have something to say but ? don’t want to go through the traditional channels to express ? themselves. And I’ve discovered so many great people and great zines ? whilst being involved that that’s a pretty impossible question to ? answer. Though Maximum Rock N Roll, Punk Planet, My Evil Twin Sister, ? Inside Front, 12o5 and Scanner will always have a place close to my ? heart!? ? At the symposium I’m looking forward to meeting Matthew Murray – who’s ? running the artist trading card exchange – and Geoff – who’s running ? the kids comix workshop. And of course in general I’m just looking ? forward to seeing old friends from across the continent!? ? ?AW: How important do you think DIY culture is? What are your views on DIY as a form of resistance to mainstream media and their messages?
?EB: I think DIY’s vital. I think it gives resources and space for radical ? thought to grow and exist and hopefully gives an alternative to the ? hegemony of mainstream culture. You need a radical culture to exist ? for any radical change to happen. DIY is, obviously, way bigger than ? just zines though. I think zines can be used by radicals as a way to ? quickly communicate with people, but I’m not sure that making a zine ? is necessarily inherently radical. But DIY, in general, is certainly ? a corner stone in any anti-authoritarian organising be it squatting ? social centres, taking over the streets or organising a really? awesome gig!? ? ?

AW: I like the idea of artist trading cards! Will there be other crafty ? things to see and do around the symposium? And why is the comic ? workshop only for kids?
? EB:Yeah, the artist trading cards should be cool. And I know it’s a shame ? that the comic workshop is only for kids, but then again kids tend to ? get left out of zine culture sometimes, so it’s cool that they’re ? going to have their own space at this year’s Symposium.

AW: Do you organise any events based around DIY? culture other than the LSZ? If so, what are they and how can people ? get involved?

EB:There’ll be another zine in a day project at this year’s symposium, which ? hopefully will be printed on the day itself if all goes according to ? plan. I’m afraid LZS is enough of an event to last us all a full year. ? We all put on DIY gigs, organise protests, work in social centres and ? what have you, but nothing on the scale of the Zine Symposium!? ? ? AW: The Individual Zine Rocks table encourages people with just one zine ? to get involved, first-timers or small scale creators; do you have any ? tips for people interested in getting into the zine scene on getting ? heard about?
? EB:It’s tricky to give specific pointers, though it’s worth reading Alex ? Wrekk’s ‘Stolen Sharpie Revolution’, which does a really good job of ? explaining the zine scene and all it’s myriad quirks. If you’re ? interested in making a zine you should just make one. Better to have ? tried and failed than not have tried at all! If you wanna get heard ? about come along to zine events, trade zines with other people and ? make sure you get copies into any shop that will have them!? ?
You heard what the man said! Come along to the London Zine Symposium, The Rag Factory, Henage Street, just off Brick Lane, Saturday 29th May 12-6pm.

The Rag Factory, ask Brick Lane, will be playing host to The London Zine Symposium on the 29th of May, an event celebrating DIY culture, promoting communal idea sharing and, naturally, selling a few zines. Inspired by the Portland Zine Symposium, it’s been running since 2005 and just keeps getting bigger. This year there are over 70 stalls dedicated to zines, small presses and comics, with crafty bits to see and do round every corner, as well as discussions, readings and workshops.

The Symposium runs from 12pm, kicking off with the kids’ comic workshop, making things nice, and monstrous, (pretend to be my guardian? Anyone?) and all through the day you can make your own artist trading cards! They’ll be providing all the ingredients you need, though you’re welcome to take along your own cutouts and magazine bits. These excite me more than necessary, probably because I always wanted to be a Pokémon…

The first discussion of the afternoon will focus on the DIY ethos of zine-making and its applications in the wider world – a must for anyone interested in subverting mainstream media and working their socks off to get heard. It’s not limited to the world of paper either, they’ll also be talking about forming bands and organising spoken word tours. Charlotte Cooper, a queer fat researcher and activist, and Josie Long, that stand- up comedian, are among those reading from selections and the event will be nicely rounded off by Tea Hvala and a collaborative writing working, taking the surrealist drawing game the exquisite corpse and translating it to writing, so that each story becomes everybody’s story.

I asked Edd Baldry, one of the organisers, about the superiority of zines to blogs, the importance of DIY culture, and whether they’ve ever been overwhelmed by care bears…

Amelia Wells: Could you tell us a bit about the beginnings of the London Zine ? Symposium? What inspired you to start it up? Was it very popular at ?first? How has it grown?? ? Edd Baldry: I was part of a collective squatting a cool building in central ? London, which we’d called the Institute for Autonomy. I was helping to ? run an infoshop in the space as well as producing a large collective ? zine – Rancid News – which we distributed across the UK and Europe. So ? I was interested in getting more zine kids involved in radical spaces ? and radical spaces having zines that weren’t necessarily explicitly ? political. I’ve got to acknowledge though that the name, and the ? inspiration, was taken wholesale from the Portland Zine Symposium who ? do an awesome event in the US north-west every year.? ? ? From our point of view it was really popular straight away. I wish ? all the projects I’m involved with were this easy to organise. We had ? about 400 people come, with 12 stalls, at the first event and it’s ? grown steadily each year. Last year we had about 1,400 people come ? along, with 64 stalls selling their wares.? ? ? AW: What, exactly, is a zine and what part does it play in DIY culture? ? What makes a good zine? In this techno-focused age, what’s their ? attraction? Isn’t it easier and quicker to start/read a blog?
? EB:A zine is really whatever you want it to be. The only caveat is that ? it’s something that you produce yourself for yourself – at least ? that’s what I think of when I think of zines. I think that zines have ? been a vital part of DIY culture since they became prevalent in the ? punk and radical scenes in the late 70s. Riot Grrrl’s a pretty good ? example where the ideas and culture of that scene were communicated ? through zines just as much as they were through the music.? ? It’s difficult to say what makes a ‘good’ zine – there’s such a ? variety that there’s no magic bullet. There are zines that are amazing ? because they’re beautifully illustrated, others because the ? illustrations look like a three year-old drew them. I guess anything ? that has passion for something in them is interesting and zines are no ? exception.? ? I think the attraction of zines has grown as the internet has. Having ? something that is tangible and final is quite attractive in a world of ? 24 hour rolling news and ever changing churn of the internet. Also, ? zines can be read when you’re having a bath, a definite advantage over ? computers!? ? ? AW: Does the zine scene go through fads and phases like every other scene? ? Have you ever been overwhelmed by frogophiles, or carebear ? afficionados, for instance?
? EB:No, the symposium’s yet to be overrun by carebear or frog zines. But ? yeah the zine scene does tend to go through waves every few years. A ? few years ago it felt like it was totally dominated by punk zines, in ? 2007/8 it felt like a lot of people who made comics started consciously ? making them as zines. More recently it seems like a lot of ? illustration students have been really taken by making zines. Those ? trends tend to be reflected in the people who apply for stalls at the ? London Zine Symposium – this year we’ve had loads of applications from ? various groups of students around the country.? ? ? AW: What is the zine scene like in London? Do you think there’s a good ? level of community? What kind of people get into it? ? What are a few of your favourite zines? Is there anyone you’re excited about meeting ? at the symposium?
? EB:I think there’s a pretty vibrant zine scene in London. A lot of that ? has to do with the group of people running the Alternative Press ? project that’s done a bunch of small scale events at places like the ? Foundry, as well as a couple of larger ones at the St Aloysius centre ? near Euston. It’s meant that there’s now zine events happening ? throughout the year in London, which can only be a good thing. And ? yeah, there’s certainly a supportive scene amongst zinesters, there’s ? not much machismo or competiveness that you get in other scenes that ? I’ve been heavily involved with.? ? I’m not sure there’s one type of person that makes zines; it takes all ? sorts. I guess it’s people who feel they have something to say but ? don’t want to go through the traditional channels to express ? themselves. And I’ve discovered so many great people and great zines ? whilst being involved that that’s a pretty impossible question to ? answer. Though Maximum Rock N Roll, Punk Planet, My Evil Twin Sister, ? Inside Front, 12o5 and Scanner will always have a place close to my ? heart!? ? At the symposium I’m looking forward to meeting Matthew Murray – who’s ? running the artist trading card exchange – and Geoff – who’s running ? the kids comix workshop. And of course in general I’m just looking ? forward to seeing old friends from across the continent!? ? ?AW: How important do you think DIY culture is? What are your views on DIY as a form of resistance to mainstream media and their messages?
?EB: I think DIY’s vital. I think it gives resources and space for radical ? thought to grow and exist and hopefully gives an alternative to the ? hegemony of mainstream culture. You need a radical culture to exist ? for any radical change to happen. DIY is, obviously, way bigger than ? just zines though. I think zines can be used by radicals as a way to ? quickly communicate with people, but I’m not sure that making a zine ? is necessarily inherently radical. But DIY, in general, is certainly ? a corner stone in any anti-authoritarian organising be it squatting ? social centres, taking over the streets or organising a really? awesome gig!? ? ?

AW: I like the idea of artist trading cards! Will there be other crafty ? things to see and do around the symposium? And why is the comic ? workshop only for kids?
? EB:Yeah, the artist trading cards should be cool. And I know it’s a shame ? that the comic workshop is only for kids, but then again kids tend to ? get left out of zine culture sometimes, so it’s cool that they’re ? going to have their own space at this year’s Symposium.

AW: Do you organise any events based around DIY? culture other than the LSZ? If so, what are they and how can people ? get involved?

EB:There’ll be another zine in a day project at this year’s symposium, which ? hopefully will be printed on the day itself if all goes according to ? plan. I’m afraid LZS is enough of an event to last us all a full year. ? We all put on DIY gigs, organise protests, work in social centres and ? what have you, but nothing on the scale of the Zine Symposium!? ? ? AW: The Individual Zine Rocks table encourages people with just one zine ? to get involved, first-timers or small scale creators; do you have any ? tips for people interested in getting into the zine scene on getting ? heard about?
? EB:It’s tricky to give specific pointers, though it’s worth reading Alex ? Wrekk’s ‘Stolen Sharpie Revolution’, which does a really good job of ? explaining the zine scene and all it’s myriad quirks. If you’re ? interested in making a zine you should just make one. Better to have ? tried and failed than not have tried at all! If you wanna get heard ? about come along to zine events, trade zines with other people and ? make sure you get copies into any shop that will have them!? ?
You heard what the man said! Come along to the London Zine Symposium, The Rag Factory, Henage Street, just off Brick Lane, Saturday 29th May 12-6pm.

The Rag Factory, visit this Brick Lane, clinic will be playing host to The London Zine Symposium on the 29th of May, medical an event celebrating DIY culture, promoting communal idea sharing and, naturally, selling a few zines. Inspired by the Portland Zine Symposium, it’s been running since 2005 and just keeps getting bigger. This year there are over 70 stalls dedicated to zines, small presses and comics, with crafty bits to see and do round every corner, as well as discussions, readings and workshops.

The Symposium runs from 12pm, kicking off with the kids’ comic workshop, making things nice, and monstrous, (pretend to be my guardian? Anyone?) and all through the day you can make your own artist trading cards! They’ll be providing all the ingredients you need, though you’re welcome to take along your own cutouts and magazine bits. These excite me more than necessary, probably because I always wanted to be a Pokémon…

The first discussion of the afternoon will focus on the DIY ethos of zine-making and its applications in the wider world – a must for anyone interested in subverting mainstream media and working their socks off to get heard. It’s not limited to the world of paper either, they’ll also be talking about forming bands and organising spoken word tours. Charlotte Cooper, a queer fat researcher and activist, and Josie Long, that stand- up comedian, are among those reading from selections and the event will be nicely rounded off by Tea Hvala and a collaborative writing working, taking the surrealist drawing game the exquisite corpse and translating it to writing, so that each story becomes everybody’s story.

I asked Edd Baldry, one of the organisers, about the superiority of zines to blogs, the importance of DIY culture, and whether they’ve ever been overwhelmed by care bears…

Amelia Wells: Could you tell us a bit about the beginnings of the London Zine ? Symposium? What inspired you to start it up? Was it very popular at ?first? How has it grown?? ? Edd Baldry: I was part of a collective squatting a cool building in central ? London, which we’d called the Institute for Autonomy. I was helping to ? run an infoshop in the space as well as producing a large collective ? zine – Rancid News – which we distributed across the UK and Europe. So ? I was interested in getting more zine kids involved in radical spaces ? and radical spaces having zines that weren’t necessarily explicitly ? political. I’ve got to acknowledge though that the name, and the ? inspiration, was taken wholesale from the Portland Zine Symposium who ? do an awesome event in the US north-west every year.? ? ? From our point of view it was really popular straight away. I wish ? all the projects I’m involved with were this easy to organise. We had ? about 400 people come, with 12 stalls, at the first event and it’s ? grown steadily each year. Last year we had about 1,400 people come ? along, with 64 stalls selling their wares.? ? ? AW: What, exactly, is a zine and what part does it play in DIY culture? ? What makes a good zine? In this techno-focused age, what’s their ? attraction? Isn’t it easier and quicker to start/read a blog?
? EB:A zine is really whatever you want it to be. The only caveat is that ? it’s something that you produce yourself for yourself – at least ? that’s what I think of when I think of zines. I think that zines have ? been a vital part of DIY culture since they became prevalent in the ? punk and radical scenes in the late 70s. Riot Grrrl’s a pretty good ? example where the ideas and culture of that scene were communicated ? through zines just as much as they were through the music.? ? It’s difficult to say what makes a ‘good’ zine – there’s such a ? variety that there’s no magic bullet. There are zines that are amazing ? because they’re beautifully illustrated, others because the ? illustrations look like a three year-old drew them. I guess anything ? that has passion for something in them is interesting and zines are no ? exception.? ? I think the attraction of zines has grown as the internet has. Having ? something that is tangible and final is quite attractive in a world of ? 24 hour rolling news and ever changing churn of the internet. Also, ? zines can be read when you’re having a bath, a definite advantage over ? computers!? ? ? AW: Does the zine scene go through fads and phases like every other scene? ? Have you ever been overwhelmed by frogophiles, or carebear ? afficionados, for instance?
? EB:No, the symposium’s yet to be overrun by carebear or frog zines. But ? yeah the zine scene does tend to go through waves every few years. A ? few years ago it felt like it was totally dominated by punk zines, in ? 2007/8 it felt like a lot of people who made comics started consciously ? making them as zines. More recently it seems like a lot of ? illustration students have been really taken by making zines. Those ? trends tend to be reflected in the people who apply for stalls at the ? London Zine Symposium – this year we’ve had loads of applications from ? various groups of students around the country.? ? ? AW: What is the zine scene like in London? Do you think there’s a good ? level of community? What kind of people get into it? ? What are a few of your favourite zines? Is there anyone you’re excited about meeting ? at the symposium?
? EB:I think there’s a pretty vibrant zine scene in London. A lot of that ? has to do with the group of people running the Alternative Press ? project that’s done a bunch of small scale events at places like the ? Foundry, as well as a couple of larger ones at the St Aloysius centre ? near Euston. It’s meant that there’s now zine events happening ? throughout the year in London, which can only be a good thing. And ? yeah, there’s certainly a supportive scene amongst zinesters, there’s ? not much machismo or competiveness that you get in other scenes that ? I’ve been heavily involved with.? ? I’m not sure there’s one type of person that makes zines; it takes all ? sorts. I guess it’s people who feel they have something to say but ? don’t want to go through the traditional channels to express ? themselves. And I’ve discovered so many great people and great zines ? whilst being involved that that’s a pretty impossible question to ? answer. Though Maximum Rock N Roll, Punk Planet, My Evil Twin Sister, ? Inside Front, 12o5 and Scanner will always have a place close to my ? heart!? ? At the symposium I’m looking forward to meeting Matthew Murray – who’s ? running the artist trading card exchange – and Geoff – who’s running ? the kids comix workshop. And of course in general I’m just looking ? forward to seeing old friends from across the continent!? ? ?AW: How important do you think DIY culture is? What are your views on DIY as a form of resistance to mainstream media and their messages?
?EB: I think DIY’s vital. I think it gives resources and space for radical ? thought to grow and exist and hopefully gives an alternative to the ? hegemony of mainstream culture. You need a radical culture to exist ? for any radical change to happen. DIY is, obviously, way bigger than ? just zines though. I think zines can be used by radicals as a way to ? quickly communicate with people, but I’m not sure that making a zine ? is necessarily inherently radical. But DIY, in general, is certainly ? a corner stone in any anti-authoritarian organising be it squatting ? social centres, taking over the streets or organising a really? awesome gig!? ? ?

AW: I like the idea of artist trading cards! Will there be other crafty ? things to see and do around the symposium? And why is the comic ? workshop only for kids?
? EB:Yeah, the artist trading cards should be cool. And I know it’s a shame ? that the comic workshop is only for kids, but then again kids tend to ? get left out of zine culture sometimes, so it’s cool that they’re ? going to have their own space at this year’s Symposium.

AW: Do you organise any events based around DIY? culture other than the LSZ? If so, what are they and how can people ? get involved?

EB:There’ll be another zine in a day project at this year’s symposium, which ? hopefully will be printed on the day itself if all goes according to ? plan. I’m afraid LZS is enough of an event to last us all a full year. ? We all put on DIY gigs, organise protests, work in social centres and ? what have you, but nothing on the scale of the Zine Symposium!? ? ? AW: The Individual Zine Rocks table encourages people with just one zine ? to get involved, first-timers or small scale creators; do you have any ? tips for people interested in getting into the zine scene on getting ? heard about?
? EB:It’s tricky to give specific pointers, though it’s worth reading Alex ? Wrekk’s ‘Stolen Sharpie Revolution’, which does a really good job of ? explaining the zine scene and all it’s myriad quirks. If you’re ? interested in making a zine you should just make one. Better to have ? tried and failed than not have tried at all! If you wanna get heard ? about come along to zine events, trade zines with other people and ? make sure you get copies into any shop that will have them!? ?
You heard what the man said! Come along to the London Zine Symposium, The Rag Factory, Henage Street, just off Brick Lane, Saturday 29th May 12-6pm.

The Rag Factory, order Brick Lane, order will be playing host to The London Zine Symposium on the 29th of May, salve an event celebrating DIY culture, promoting communal idea sharing and, naturally, selling a few zines. Inspired by the Portland Zine Symposium, it’s been running since 2005 and just keeps getting bigger. This year there are over 70 stalls dedicated to zines, small presses and comics, with crafty bits to see and do round every corner, as well as discussions, readings and workshops.

The Symposium runs from 12pm, kicking off with the kids’ comic workshop, making things nice, and monstrous, (pretend to be my guardian? Anyone?) and all through the day you can make your own artist trading cards! They’ll be providing all the ingredients you need, though you’re welcome to take along your own cutouts and magazine bits. These excite me more than necessary, probably because I always wanted to be a Pokémon…

The first discussion of the afternoon will focus on the DIY ethos of zine-making and its applications in the wider world – a must for anyone interested in subverting mainstream media and working their socks off to get heard. It’s not limited to the world of paper either, they’ll also be talking about forming bands and organising spoken word tours. Charlotte Cooper, a queer fat researcher and activist, and Josie Long, that stand- up comedian, are among those reading from selections and the event will be nicely rounded off by Tea Hvala and a collaborative writing working, taking the surrealist drawing game the exquisite corpse and translating it to writing, so that each story becomes everybody’s story.

I asked Edd Baldry, one of the organisers, about the superiority of zines to blogs, the importance of DIY culture, and whether they’ve ever been overwhelmed by care bears…

Amelia Wells: Could you tell us a bit about the beginnings of the London Zine ? Symposium? What inspired you to start it up? Was it very popular at ?first? How has it grown?? ? Edd Baldry: I was part of a collective squatting a cool building in central ? London, which we’d called the Institute for Autonomy. I was helping to ? run an infoshop in the space as well as producing a large collective ? zine – Rancid News – which we distributed across the UK and Europe. So ? I was interested in getting more zine kids involved in radical spaces ? and radical spaces having zines that weren’t necessarily explicitly ? political. I’ve got to acknowledge though that the name, and the ? inspiration, was taken wholesale from the Portland Zine Symposium who ? do an awesome event in the US north-west every year.? ? ? From our point of view it was really popular straight away. I wish ? all the projects I’m involved with were this easy to organise. We had ? about 400 people come, with 12 stalls, at the first event and it’s ? grown steadily each year. Last year we had about 1,400 people come ? along, with 64 stalls selling their wares.? ? ? AW: What, exactly, is a zine and what part does it play in DIY culture? ? What makes a good zine? In this techno-focused age, what’s their ? attraction? Isn’t it easier and quicker to start/read a blog?
? EB:A zine is really whatever you want it to be. The only caveat is that ? it’s something that you produce yourself for yourself – at least ? that’s what I think of when I think of zines. I think that zines have ? been a vital part of DIY culture since they became prevalent in the ? punk and radical scenes in the late 70s. Riot Grrrl’s a pretty good ? example where the ideas and culture of that scene were communicated ? through zines just as much as they were through the music.? ? It’s difficult to say what makes a ‘good’ zine – there’s such a ? variety that there’s no magic bullet. There are zines that are amazing ? because they’re beautifully illustrated, others because the ? illustrations look like a three year-old drew them. I guess anything ? that has passion for something in them is interesting and zines are no ? exception.? ? I think the attraction of zines has grown as the internet has. Having ? something that is tangible and final is quite attractive in a world of ? 24 hour rolling news and ever changing churn of the internet. Also, ? zines can be read when you’re having a bath, a definite advantage over ? computers!? ? ? AW: Does the zine scene go through fads and phases like every other scene? ? Have you ever been overwhelmed by frogophiles, or carebear ? afficionados, for instance?
? EB:No, the symposium’s yet to be overrun by carebear or frog zines. But ? yeah the zine scene does tend to go through waves every few years. A ? few years ago it felt like it was totally dominated by punk zines, in ? 2007/8 it felt like a lot of people who made comics started consciously ? making them as zines. More recently it seems like a lot of ? illustration students have been really taken by making zines. Those ? trends tend to be reflected in the people who apply for stalls at the ? London Zine Symposium – this year we’ve had loads of applications from ? various groups of students around the country.? ? ? AW: What is the zine scene like in London? Do you think there’s a good ? level of community? What kind of people get into it? ? What are a few of your favourite zines? Is there anyone you’re excited about meeting ? at the symposium?
? EB:I think there’s a pretty vibrant zine scene in London. A lot of that ? has to do with the group of people running the Alternative Press ? project that’s done a bunch of small scale events at places like the ? Foundry, as well as a couple of larger ones at the St Aloysius centre ? near Euston. It’s meant that there’s now zine events happening ? throughout the year in London, which can only be a good thing. And ? yeah, there’s certainly a supportive scene amongst zinesters, there’s ? not much machismo or competiveness that you get in other scenes that ? I’ve been heavily involved with.? ? I’m not sure there’s one type of person that makes zines; it takes all ? sorts. I guess it’s people who feel they have something to say but ? don’t want to go through the traditional channels to express ? themselves. And I’ve discovered so many great people and great zines ? whilst being involved that that’s a pretty impossible question to ? answer. Though Maximum Rock N Roll, Punk Planet, My Evil Twin Sister, ? Inside Front, 12o5 and Scanner will always have a place close to my ? heart!? ? At the symposium I’m looking forward to meeting Matthew Murray – who’s ? running the artist trading card exchange – and Geoff – who’s running ? the kids comix workshop. And of course in general I’m just looking ? forward to seeing old friends from across the continent!? ? ?AW: How important do you think DIY culture is? What are your views on DIY as a form of resistance to mainstream media and their messages?
?EB: I think DIY’s vital. I think it gives resources and space for radical ? thought to grow and exist and hopefully gives an alternative to the ? hegemony of mainstream culture. You need a radical culture to exist ? for any radical change to happen. DIY is, obviously, way bigger than ? just zines though. I think zines can be used by radicals as a way to ? quickly communicate with people, but I’m not sure that making a zine ? is necessarily inherently radical. But DIY, in general, is certainly ? a corner stone in any anti-authoritarian organising be it squatting ? social centres, taking over the streets or organising a really? awesome gig!? ? ?

AW: I like the idea of artist trading cards! Will there be other crafty ? things to see and do around the symposium? And why is the comic ? workshop only for kids?
? EB:Yeah, the artist trading cards should be cool. And I know it’s a shame ? that the comic workshop is only for kids, but then again kids tend to ? get left out of zine culture sometimes, so it’s cool that they’re ? going to have their own space at this year’s Symposium.

AW: Do you organise any events based around DIY? culture other than the LSZ? If so, what are they and how can people ? get involved?

EB:There’ll be another zine in a day project at this year’s symposium, which ? hopefully will be printed on the day itself if all goes according to ? plan. I’m afraid LZS is enough of an event to last us all a full year. ? We all put on DIY gigs, organise protests, work in social centres and ? what have you, but nothing on the scale of the Zine Symposium!? ? ? AW: The Individual Zine Rocks table encourages people with just one zine ? to get involved, first-timers or small scale creators; do you have any ? tips for people interested in getting into the zine scene on getting ? heard about?
? EB:It’s tricky to give specific pointers, though it’s worth reading Alex ? Wrekk’s ‘Stolen Sharpie Revolution’, which does a really good job of ? explaining the zine scene and all it’s myriad quirks. If you’re ? interested in making a zine you should just make one. Better to have ? tried and failed than not have tried at all! If you wanna get heard ? about come along to zine events, trade zines with other people and ? make sure you get copies into any shop that will have them!? ?
You heard what the man said! Come along to the London Zine Symposium, The Rag Factory, Henage Street, just off Brick Lane, Saturday 29th May 12-6pm.

Kaffe-med-kaka 6
Thuva-Lisa Ceder is the creator and star of her own little world where the strange is praised and practiced. Since discovering her now defunct blog, site Le Petit Nuage, a year and half (ish) ago, I have been drawn to that world, peeking in with a morbid wide eyed curiosity, entranced by the peculiarities and oddities put on display. Ceder, a nineteen year old Swede, shares her art via Flickr and Tumblr – photographs, illustrations and collages- showcasing a style distinctly her own. A startling kaleidoscope of the strange and the darkly erotic, all seemingly from another time and a faraway world, which holds the ability to both perplex and charm a viewer-if they aren’t easily offended. Perhaps most surprising to the unsuspecting may be Ceder’s illustrations.

Kaffe-med-kaka

Drawn and coloured in felt pens or pencil, the illustrations appear to the less observant eye to be a child’s drawings (Glitter! Shiny star stickers! Flowers! Polka Dots!), artwork of which any parent of a small child would be proud. That is, until Mom and Dad realize that the people (notably, very well-endowed in the eyebrow department) rarely have any on pants…and they are often touching each other or themselves in those special places. Graphic enough a child psychologist would likely proclaim them as the troubling doodles of a “disturbed child” with the utmost bewilderment, prompting him to exclaim, “Kids today! Harrumph!” while running his hand over his graying unruly beard. Naturally, I was intrigued. It’s not the first time stylistically childlike art has featured adult subjects, but Ceder owns her style and keeps it fresh.

Kaffe-med-kaka

I caught up with the Miss Thuva-Lisa Ceder to see just what is going on inside that brain of hers.

When did you first start experimenting with art?
From the day I was born. I made many dolls and lots of clothes out of curtains. I loved making my own toys.

The themes in your artwork, both photography and drawings, suggest you gravitate toward the dark and morbid, the openly erotic, and the bizarre and experimental- what inspires this point of view?
The World: society, how it works, my life, old people and asexuality. I am also inspired by a desire to be loved and a disgust for certain parts of society.

This point of view is intriguingly filtered through childlike imagery in your drawings. Glitter, star stickers, and flowers combined with pubic hair, nipples and fishnet stockings seem like an unlikely pairing. Can you tell us more about the subjects of your illustrations?
I mostly draw females/males that are like me in one way or another. I want them to express some feeling, and I don’t always know what that is so sometimes my hand just decides what it’s going to be so I don’t think that much about it.

Kaffe-med-kaka

How did you start to develop your style?
A friend of mine inspired me with the eyebrows. Before I drew more stuff like cute cats (when I was younger) but now I prefer to draw elderly sweet male/females that are angry.

I really like the collaged pieces- the mixture of your drawings or pieces of photographs layered on top of other photographs is really neat. What type of images do you look for when you make your collages?
Images that I think would be great together – whatever that is- my mouth, an old lady, whatever, stuff that will express something.

My particular favorite is the very endearing image of the unicorn venturing up an older woman’s arm. How did you come up with this?
Oh, it was only by pure chance. I found the lady who I cut out from a newspaper and loved the picture, also I loved unicorns… and suddenly it became a collage.

Kaffe-med-kaka

About your photography: You are often the subject of your photography: self-portraits of everyday activities such as you smoking or holding your pet bunny to nude images of yourself huddled inside a suitcase or topless in your bathtub. Why does nudity play such an important role in your work?
We were born nude.

Self-portraits, photographs of friends and family, nature, creepy old houses, etc… What is your favorite to shoot?
Definitely old people, they have a whole life behind them and are knowledgeable about things. They will soon die. I just like that they are much more interesting than stupid young people or 40-year-old men who shout insults after you when they are drunk. They are so calm, waiting to die. Also, we all will get old someday and it feels like we don’t give a shit for the old ones. We just bundle them together in a house and let them rot until they are in the earth.

Kaffe-med-kaka

What camera do you use?
A C905, my cell phone, a Sony HD, a small handy movie camera and a digital camera.

Alongside your artwork and photography, you also make very sweet and dreamy instrumental music with a piano under the name of Petit Soleil. What creative medium do you find the most satisfaction in?
Right now it’s drawing and photography, but I really want to create music. It is the greatest art of them all! Anthony of Anthony and the Johnsons: now he really makes music. He will die happy because he sings so beautifully.

Kaffe-med-kaka
What are your artistic tastes? What art, films and music do you draw inspiration from?
Joy Division, and lots of movies. I get a bit inspired of Derek Jarman, and I love the art from 1500-1700.

What creative outlet have you not tried yet that you would like to?
Feminist porn, stage performances and I’d like to make a feature film.

You present a unique and strange world for those who view your work to step into – what would be the sights and sounds of your dream world?
I dream of a totally gray world: there’s a gray house on top of a hill and an avenue up to the house that is surrounded by many giant bare black trees. Or alternatively I’d like to live inside one of Oscar Wilde’s stories…

Categories ,Anthony and The Johnsons, ,Derek Jarman, ,Glitter, ,illustration, ,joy division, ,Kaffe med Kaka, ,Old People, ,Oscar Wilde, ,Petit Soleil, ,photography, ,sweden, ,Thuva-Lisa Ceder

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Amelia’s Magazine | Secret Garden Party 2011: Festival Review


The Secret Garden Party, buy illustrated by Sam Parr

A playground for all ages, ed The Secret Garden Party boasts a reputation as a festival where you can temporarily seek refuge from the hassles of real life and indulge in a few days of crazy creativity in a temporary community where a surprise lurks around every corner.

In my estimation, medical The Secret Garden Party is the closest you can ever get to Wonderland without reading Alice Through the Looking-Glass (It even has croquet). Held in the Cambridgeshire countryside just outside Huntingdon, this festival occurs on the grounds of Abbots Ripton Hall, home of Lord de Ramsey. These days the festival is a pretty badly kept secret and as many as 26,000 people attended this year, compared to the more petite 1000 or so that partied there back when it was begotten in 2004.

The grounds, as well as the festival goers, function as an impromptu art exhibit with fancy dress encouraged and contributing to the surreal ambience. Although marketed as both an arts and music festival, the lack of well-known bands means that more often than not the attendees are lured to the festival on the premise of the experience itself.


Illustrations by Lilly Allen

Festivals rest in the perilous hands of the weather and although our entrance to the festival was marked by the rain, an ominous start to the weekend, it was hot enough by Friday that we could mosey to the lake and go swimming with hoards of other eager beavers, desperate to wash off the glitter and UV paint from last night’s exploits. The lake is a vital part of the festival atmosphere, not only because you can swim and row across it, but because there is also a temporary stage in the centre that you can only get to by boat. This stage, in the shape of a dragonfly, was burnt on the Saturday night.


Blondie, illustrated by Sam Parr

This is a festival where you go with the flow, whether you choose to follow the trail of glow sticks being left by a person in the distance in the hope that it leads you somewhere, or you want to sit in front of the sand stage and relax burning marshmallows on the bonfire. Each festival experience is unique and as well as being handed some snacks by someone in a Kindness Initiative tabard we were approached by someone who presented us with a piece of paper reading “switch off your alarm clock”; SGP is a hands-on festival if ever there was one.

There are an impossible number of things to do. They say that curiosity killed the cat, but this is a place to satiate your interest, taking advantage of what’s on offer, whether that is life drawing or an introduction to fetishes: in a tent filled with pillows where you are required to take your shoes off at the entrance and a small make shift cinema (complete with popcorn). Forming just a sample of the odd attractions on offer, you’re guaranteed never to be bored. Other more mainstream activities to pep you up during the day include miniature golf and yoga. If you want to watch someone in a wasp spray costume chase a bee around, or throw paint at people you don’t know in the annual paint fight, then this is the place to do it. With so much on offer its impossible to sample everything in one visit and this festival will undoubtedly leave you wanting more.

We got more than we bargained by watching mud wrestling, the climax of the show being impromptu nudity as well as a Mission Impossible style drop for items located in the mud pit. We also checked out Shitfaced Shakespeare, a performance of Romeo and Juliet for which the actors are completely and utterly trollied. Both of which made for unique experiences.

We were totally sheltered from the real world here: with no plug sockets, the news of Amy Winehouse and the Norway massacre filter through the crowds with shock, reminding us that we have to go back to our lives on Monday.


Married to the Sea, illustrated by Nicola Ellen

The majority of bands playing at SGP are relatively unknown and reading down the list makes me feel suddenly lacking in hipster knowledge. There are big names, too: Leftfield, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Mystery Jets and of course Blondie. We watched rising stars like Cosmo Jarvis and relative unknowns like Married to the Sea, wandering through the various stages in search of the best tunes. But mostly, we weaved in and out of the tents soaking up the atmosphere, picking up the phone of the random call box that lets you talk to strangers somewhere else on the festival and being glad that we were lucky enough to get tickets.


Cosmo Jarvis, illustrated by Rosemary Kirton
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There is more to SGP than the music. This is the festival to end all festivals and has a certain je ne sais quoi that other festivals fail to achieve. If you want to dress up as a different animal every day then this is the place for you. It’s an art gallery with its visitors welcome to become part of the exhibit. The Secret Garden Party is one of the few experiences in life when the reality of the festival will no doubt outstrip your expectations.

All photography by Jessica Cook

Categories ,Abbots Ripton Hall, ,Alice in Wonderland, ,amy winehouse, ,art, ,blondie, ,dragonfly, ,festival, ,Glitter, ,Glow sticks, ,Golf, ,Jessica Cook, ,leftfield, ,Lilly Allen, ,Lord de Ramsey, ,Martha Reeves, ,Mission Impossible, ,music, ,Mystery Jets, ,Nicola Ellen, ,review, ,Romeo and Juliet, ,Rosemary Kirton, ,Sam Parr, ,Shitfaced Shakespeare, ,The Secret Garden Party, ,The Vandellas, ,UV paint, ,Yoga

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