This Saturday (5 August), come and explore self-publishing as a creative method of activism in our free workshop on zine-making! Inspired by our Art of Solidarity exhibition, which closes this weekend. Here, Seleena Laverne Daye, who will be running the event, blogs about zines, identity and activism:
"I made my first zine when I was 15 years old. I wasn’t brave enough to make one all on my own, so contributed to one a friend was making. Back then I mostly wrote feminist rants and about stuff I loved. I soon caught the zine making bug and now 18 years later, I still very much love making zines.
"I’ve always been a fan of magazines, I used to avidly collect ones about fashion, music and Teen magazines such as J17, once I learnt about the existence of zines through my cool older indie kid sister, it seemed the obvious thing to me to put my love of magazines to use in the form of self-publishing.
"I’ve made zines over time, from ones dedicated to certain bands, craft how to zines, ones about road trips, art zines and even a zine dedicated to my favourite snack, crisps!
"The two zines I am most proud of are Brown Girl and Poor Lass.
Front cover of Seleena Laverne Day's 'Brown Girl' zine
"Brown Girl, is a zine I decided to make about a few years ago because I wanted to create a space where I could talk about being mixed race. And has since progressed to that and a space for other mixed race women to take up space and to celebrate art by women of colour.
"Poor Lass is a zine I help to co create about working class people. It’s a submissions based zine I started with my friend 5 years ago. We wanted to be able to tell our stories, as working class people, in our voices. So often in mainstream media working class people are spoken about but never given space to speak for themselves.
"The reason I am proud of these two zines above all is because they have made me more comfortable and proud with many aspects of my identity.
"To be able to document and archive the voices of people that usually don’t get to be heard (women, people of colour and the working class) is such a privilege and something I want to do forever, so our voices aren’t lost.
"Using zines as a form of activism. Constantly creating a space for people who are so often told to take up less space.
"Making those zines and the confidence that came with owning my own identity also meant that I could transfer this way of thinking into the art I create.
"I am a textile artist and work mostly with felt and traditional techniques such as embroidery and cross stitch. That in itself is a form of activism, trying to get what can be deemed as old fashioned and gendered crafts viewed as an art form.
"Within the work itself I often comment on representations of POC within popular culture, from the misrepresentations to the lack of.
"Which is something which also exists in the art world, which is deemed as very white and middle class.
"In short, the work I create is me documenting me and the existence of people like me, so our current histories don’t get white washed or erased.
"I am a brown working class woman, HEAR ME ROAR!"
Seleena’s zine-making workshop will take place on Saturday, 5th August, 1-3pm. Free but booking is advised due to limited places.
We will also be offering a tour of Art of Solidarity before this workshop at 12.30pm
If you are interested in finding out more about zine culture, our closest zine library is Salford Zine Library, a unique archive of self published materials housed at Nexus Art Café in Manchester, where visitors can find over 1500 publications to browse.