Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Zine Fest 2011 @ The Women's Library - Review

An absolutely gorgeous day in London saw a lot of amazing zinesters gather in the Women's Library for Zine Fest at the weekend (June 25th). This is the fourth Zine Fest held in the Women’s Library in London, and is an event celebrating all sorts of different aspects of zine culture, from the political to the artistic. As well as having stalls selling all sorts of different zines, there were also workshops and discussion groups going on throughout the day.

Unfortunately, due to many of the Tube lines being fully or partly closed, by the time we reached the Women’s Library, we’d missed most of the workshops. Gotta love public transport. If you attended any of the workshops on such varied subjects as stencilling and feminist media, do leave us a comment with your experiences and/or pictures!

The Women’s Library itself has an extensive zine collection, and tours were given of the library throughout the afternoon. As well as holding events like this, the Women’s Library offer access to materials on women’s history throughout the ages, and provide a reliable resource for anyone wanting to explore the work of our feminist predecessors. 

The stalls were in a small room on the top floor of the library, and a varied collection of zinesters were present, including such regulars as Marching Stars Distro and Vampire Sushi Distro, and newer publications like Girls Get Busy. Feminist collective, Storm in a Teacup, were also there, offering handprinted copies of their own zine. As well as zines being on offer, stalls ran by such groups as Pamflet and Girls Who Draw sold tote bags and pieces of art. I ended up buying a LOT of zines (all worth it!) and am hoping to review some of the highlights either on my personal blog, or on here.

The exhibition room was set in the library’s café, and provided some absolutely inspiring food for thought. A big theme with the exhibits was inspirational women, with the Feminist Disco Project, asking people to draw their female icons on paper plates, and the More Crackers Please exhibit, showing the best in feminist activism over the last 10 years. Also on show was the Shape and Situate zine’s exhibition of posters of figures from feminist history, the posters ranging from the funny to the inspiring. The zine itself is available to buy here.

Overall, Zine Fest was an immensely successful event in the atmosphere it offered. It was a zine event that was fantastically chilled out, and offered a friendly space for a more openly feminist sensibility. After all, any zine event that has a table selling copies of Reclaiming the F Word is totally okay with me. Any naysayers of feminism only have to come to an event like this to see just how much active feminist self-published media there is at the moment.

Did you go to Zine Fest? Agree or disagree with anything I’ve said? Let us know! Also, if you have any pictures or accounts of the event, do send us links!

Above - photos from the various exhibitions at Zine Fest.

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