Monday, 1 November 2010

The Shrieking Violet Issue 11 media special

Issue 11 of the Shrieking Violet is out now. It is a media special I started with the aim of looking at Manchester media city then and now, considering the history of the city and print, but ended up focusing on a few specific areas I found particularly interesting.

This issue's cover is by Dan Russell of Manchester Municipal Design Corporation, which produces the Things Happen fanzine (to read the current issue, including my article about the Ashton Canal, click here).

I'm interested in the way old newspaper premises still leave a mark on the city, from the Printworks to the Daily Express Building. I interviewed Manchester Modernist Society in 2009 when they had just formed and, when I asked them each to pick their favourite modernist building in Manchester, Jack Hale chose the Daily Express building because of the way it combines form and function. I asked him to elaborate by writing an article on the building for this issue.

I've also considered free weekly titles Shortlist and Stylist, and their skewed perceptions of men and women.

Evan Cowen has written a tragicomic diary of week undertaking work experience that essential, yet often frustrating rite of passage for anyone hoping to work in the media at his local newspaper in Cumbria.

Manchester based artist, singer and performer Lowri Evans, who is currently living in Brazil, has captured a day in her life as a page from the São Paulo Folha newspaper.

Matthew Austin of Austin Brothers Films has written an account of the challenges of producing a feature film on a tight budget, and looks ahead to the premiere of their debut feature length film Cricket, which will close the Salford Film Festival at the Lowry Outlet Mall on November 14.

Other articles in this issue include my write-up of a visit to the North West Film Archive to watch documentary films about Manchester newspapers from the '60s and '70s, which are fascinating not just as portraits of the publications themselves but glimpses into the society of the time and Manchester in days gone by.

I am interested in not just the 'official' media that forms the narrative of the city, but also independent, alternative publications, and I have profiled publications that have inspired me, from the Salford Star magazine to local fanzines.

I have recently been asking Manchester based zines and magazines why they still bother to produce a print publication a very labour intensive form of communication when it is so cheap, easy and convenient to publish online. I have compiled a few of the answers.

Issue 11 also features illustration by Alex Boswell, poetry by Rachel Cranshaw and photography Manchester Daily Photo blogger Paul Capewell. Chef and film maker Rich Howe contributes recipes for banana soup and an Elvis Sandwich, whilst Norwich based singer Kayleigh Read has written a recipe for vegan moussaka.

I went a bit linocut crazy having recently rediscovered it!

Free paper copies of the Shrieking Violet will be scattered around Manchester city centre at some stage today and tomorrow. Likely places include the Cornerhouse, Piccadilly Records, Koffee Pot, An Outlet, Oklahoma, Good Grief fanzine shop in Afflecks Palace, Nexus Art Cafe, Magma Books, Manchester Craft Centre etc.

Download Issue 11 with the pages in the right order for printing here.

Read Issue 11 with the pages in the right order for reading here.

Back issues of the Shrieking Violet can be downloaded here.

To obtain a free paper copy of this zine or any back issues (free service), email your name and address to

To contribute to future issues email or join The Shrieking Violet fanzine facebook group.

In an homage to the pointless lists Shortlist magazine loves so much, here is a list of trivia relating to things I did during the making of this issue:

Went from never having seen any of Sex and the City to having seen all of it apart from the second film.
Started watching Mad Men but only got as far as the first two episodes.
Read a copy of Nuts magazine, Zoo magazine and Glamour magazine.
Used my John Rylands University Library alumni card and spent a couple of hours pretending to be studious.
Was inspired by watching the films Beautiful Losers and $100 Dollars and a T-Shirt.
Cut my fingers open several times with lino cutting tools.
Discovered and fell in love with balsamic vinegar.
Attended two debates about the media, one about ownership of the media organised by the Mule newspaper which featured Stephen Kingston of the Salford Star, Dave Toomer from the National Union of Journalists and Nigel Barlow from Inside the M60, and an Urbis Research Forum on digital media and the city which had representatives from Creative Tourist, Manchester Climate Fortnightly and Future Everything on the panel and had a pessimistic tone but seemed to conclude that media works best when it is a complementary combination of new digital media and traditional print media.
Joined twitter because everyone else has.

1 comment:

Nigel Barlow said...

Good luck with the launch.

can I just point out that I am not a blogger but the Co Owner of Independent News Site Inside the M60

Nigel Barlow