Zine fests, workshops, and feministing!

Posted by blatantblithe on March 21, 2013 Blog posts | Personal | | One comment

So, it’s been a busy, productive year so far! here are a few of the things I’ve been up to recently, in reverse date order:

1. Sheffield Zine Fest!

Me at the zinefest, wearing a t-shirt designed by Tukru! (photo by Chella Quint)

image of organiser Bettie with her homemade bunting

Organiser Bettie with her homemade bunting – photo by Chella Quint

photo of the zine stalls

the venue – Daf, James and I are on the far left! (photo by Laura Bainbridge)

Last Saturday I tabled and held a workshop on zines and feminism at Sheffield Zine Fest.  The day was pretty manic – I drove to Sheffield that morning with my partner Daf and my friends Caitlin and James, and it ended up taking us far longer to get there than we expected (about 5 hours, with stops).  Next time, I’ll definitely travel up the night before and stay overnight!  So we ended up getting to the venue an hour late, which was a pain in the arse.  We also had to park in the city centre, which cost us a fortune, but we were so late that we didn’t have the time to look for cheaper parking.  Thankfully the organisers Bettie and Chella were totally understanding of my lateness, and I ended up having a lovely time at the event once I’d calmed down!

The venue was amazing – a building right in the city centre, with bright green carpets, modern architecture, and a giant slide from the top floor to the bottom floor (which I was too busy to try out – gutted!).  We were only there for 4 hours in the end, and the day went by so quickly!  First I attended a workshop on street harassment hosted by Hollaback Sheffield, which was lots of fun.  Then I put on my workshop, which went really well!  I was a bit nervous and felt that I’d rushed through it a little, but everyone gave some great feedback, and we all got together for the last 30 minutes to make some feminist minizines together.  I’d definitely like to hold this workshop again sometime!  After that, I whizzed around the stalls, forgot to ask for trades and ended up buying loads of zines instead, forgot to take many photos, and didn’t get a chance to chat with anyone for as long as I wanted to.  We then left at 5pm.  I didn’t even eat, I was that rushed (and anyone who knows me will know how unusual that is!).

I sold a fair few zines, so that was good.  I also gave out a shedload of my free minizines and flyers.  Daf and James manned the stall for me while Caitlin and I went around saying hello to all our zine friends – thanks guys :)  It was a really good day for me socially – I felt pretty comfortable and confident there, got to catch up with my favourite zinesters, and met some new people too :)  

2. Million Women Rise

Me and my friend Adele at MWR – photo by Natalie Wlock

I marched through central London on the national feminist demo Million Women Rise on 9th March.  It was lots of fun, very lively and inspiring.  I’ve uploaded all my photos to the SFN Facebook page – take a look at them here.

3. International Women’s Day

On Thursday 7th March, SFN held its International Women’s Day, co-hosted by Swansea Women’s Centre and the Swansea University Students’ Union.  I helped out a lot with the organising of the event, and volunteered to hold 2 workshops – one on zines and feminism, and the other on pro-choice activism, based on the training day I’d attended the previous week.  I also volunteered to play an acoustic set in the afternoon.  Very scary, but exciting!

The event itself was a wee bit disappointing – the SU hadn’t cleaned/tidied the venue for us, so we had to rush around for an hour or so cleaning everything beforehand.  Then the turnout was a bit disappointing, and we were all pretty frustrated about this as we’d worked so hard to publicise the event.  We ended up skipping my pro-choice workshop as there weren’t enough people to warrant running 2 workshops side-by-side.  I played some music around lunchtime, then after lunch I held the zines workshop, which went really well!  Afterwards, I joined Kat’s knitting workshop, which was very friendly and relaxed, with people of differing abilities there.

Although the event was disappointing, it was a good day for me in terms of doing things outside my comfort zone, being sociable and getting shit done, and  I felt really proud of myself for getting through it all. :)  I wrote a short review of the day, with photos, over at the SFN blog.

4. Goodbye Mariachi EP

EP cover

EP cover

I recorded piano, vocals and bass on my friend Daniel Karl Morgan’s EP, ‘Goodbye Mariachi’!  You can read the liner notes and buy a copy at Dan’s website.

I also attended a pro-choice training day in Bristol, was filmed live on BBC3 discussing casual sexism (sort of), and released Pandora Press #5, all of which you can read about here.  Life is good, and there’s more fun stuff to come! :)

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