Friday, 1 June 2012

Three zines and two films from the Victoria Baths Fanzine Convention

Thanks to everyone who came another packed and inspiring Victoria Baths Fanzine Convention and browsed and bought fanzines, talked to self-publishers about their work, watched the film, came to the talks and asked questions, studied Melanie Maddison's poster exhibition, made pages for the giant Victoria Baths fanzine and helped sell out Deerly Beloved Bakery's stall of vegan delights!
Visitors and self-publishers of all ages came from all over the country, showing the diversity of the publications encompassed by the term: from an artist's book responding to oranges to poetry and avant garde objects, from a new, alternative guide to Manchester to a zine inspired by growing up in crap towns. One zine named after a cat called Elvis got on the train all by itself at Newcastle and was picked up at the other end in Manchester!

Watch Wild Bees Productions' short film, made throughout the Fanzine Convention, which sums up the day beautifully:

A number of new zines were made on the day, including a giant, collaborative Victoria Baths fanzine compiled by visitors who took part in lino cutting/relief printing, button book binding and collaging workshops in the former superintendent's flat.

Visitors dived into the history of the building and were inspired by its beautiful decorative tiles and stained glass windows, as well as their own feelings about swimming, to each produce a page for the finished zine, which was stitched together at the end of the day.
Photocopied images and memories from the Victoria Baths archive were available to cut and paste. Swimmers associated with the building, such as members of the South Manchester swimming club and channel swimmer Sunny Lowry, who trained at the baths, feature highly, along with old-fashioned signs!

View the Victoria Baths fanzine below as a PDF:

Open publication - Free publishing - More archive

Ten year old Louis D. Rogers from South Yorkshire wrote 5 Futuristic Machines, a zine about 'a future space war, but written in the past tense as a history book'. The zine was duplicated using Footprint Workers' Co-operative's risograph machine which had made the journey over from Leeds for the day. The risograph looked like it would be defeated by the stairs, but made it up to the balcony with the help of four strong Future Everything volunteers! Merrick from Footprint demonstrated how the risograph works:

Read 5 Futuristic Machines online:

Open publication - Free publishing - More fanzines

Meanwhile, feminist duo Vapid Kitten invited visitors to help make a special edition of the zine at their stall around the balcony area, in a workshop entitled Vapid in a Day!

Contributors on the day were joined by international contributors, who sent their work in via email. View the finished PDF at:

Open publication - Free publishing - More kitten

Elsewhere at the Convention, visitors found out more about self-publishers and their motivations with a screening of Salford Zine Library's 2011 film Self-Publishers of the World Take Over in the former committee room.
Orla Foster and Peter Martin, formerly of Rotherham Zine Library, talked about their new publications inspired by found material and their Closed Caption project.
PhD researcher and writer David Wilkinson brought back memories for Mancunians of a certain age with his talk on post-punk countercultural publication City Fun. He described how publications like City Fun and record labels like New Hormones were "very much the more politicised yet actually more lighthearted underdog to Factory Records in post-punk Manchester".

David started his talk by playing New Hormones band Ludus's brilliantly catchy pop song Breaking the Rules, which he feels epitomises the spirit of City Fun as being
"political yet whimsical, and outsider yet collectivist...the perfect song to accompany a talk about co-operation and an irreverent, amusing, politicised post-punk fanzine run by two gay women". Linder Sterling from Ludus was managed by City Fun's Liz Naylor and Cath Carroll (as Crone Management) and also designed some covers for City Fun.

Later, Cazz Blase, music reviews editor of Shrieking Violet favourite The F-Word, talked about the significance of zines to the punk and riot grrrl movements.
Visitors flocked to Melanie Maddison's poster exhibition around the balcony of the female pool, comprising 80 posters of inspirational European women taken from the zine Shape & Situate, including some of the makers of the posters!
Technology enthusiasts and zine-makers Chris Watson and Logan Holmes from Sheffield's Shift Space collective piloted the use of an augmented reality app which allowed people to explore the local area and point their smartphones at the building to receive visual and audio content, for example visitors could view how the baths looked in the past, in the exact spot where they were standing, just by holding their phone at eye level.

More photos from the day:


Chrissy Brand said...

Looks like a wonderful zine world, sorry I wasn't able to get ther myself.

Tool Venture products said...

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