I got my typewriter out today. I can’t remember the last time I used it. I put on one of my favourite old albums The Distillers and just sat staring at the keys.
I couldn’t help but think about where I was two decades ago, probably listening to late night BBC Radio One. Also making a zine or writing in a shared journal. It felt like no time had passed at all.
This evening I attended a webinar Precarity, memory and history in UK DIY music spaces given by Kirsty Fife and organised by the Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past. Kirsty is someone who has popped on and off my radar for a few years now (I knew them via Fatty Unbound and Twitter). I knew they made zines but I hadn’t purchased any… but I’ll be buying some tomorrow.
I noticed their contribution to Punk & Post Punk back in 2019 when I was considering doing a MRes elsewhere, and looking up anyone in academia who writes about zines. I was hoping to get funding from my workplace so I expanded my research from zines to wider reflective writing. Which actually ended up suiting me better because my writing had changed.
I saw this event being advertised on social media so I booked myself on. It was great hearing Kirsty talk about their research, and their experience of DIY. I’ll need to watch the recording of the webinar again because at one point it felt so relevant to me that I started sobbing (following the mention of Cowley Club which will forever hold a place in my heart♥). I just couldn’t help but think of all the DIY culture I took part in, and continue to take part in, that may or may not be archived. I mean, this doesn’t take away from it’s value but I guess I hadn’t realised how much I appeciate seeing myself in the records until that point.
And maybe that’s something I need to think of in my own practice. Is my attempt at a blogging/journal club some sort of legacy?
Moon wall hanging
I bought a wall hanging, and it arrives late tomorrow evening. It feels weird having this image in my bedroom, akin to appropriation. My partner asked me what it means and I said it’s open to interpretation (and it is) but from different articles I’ve read it seems the idea of illusion comes up. Illusion can be seen as a negative, because something is not what it appears to be… For me, illusion just means that I need to go deeper. There’s something I need to explore.
When I look at this image, I feel like I’m acknowledging my weaknesses. I’m aware I’m surrounded by the unknown, and it can be scary. But I value the learning experience.
I got through a pretty tough week. And to congratulate myself I bought a book by Maranda Elizabeth; Oliver A Lover All Over. I was tempted by We Are The Weirdos, but I just felt really drawn to Oliver A Lover All Over.
A psychogeographical exploration of intimacy and betrayal, repetition compulsion, open relationships, empathy, therapy, and art, Oliver A Lover All Over is a work of present-tense stream-of-consciousness and self-consciousness, a novel in the form of a mix tape, a collage of the languages of autofiction, songs on late-night radio, journal entries, therapy sessions, and messages exchanged through online dating apps. In their third novel, Maranda Elizabeth employs lyrical experimentation to analyze perpetually lost, unestablished and anti-establishment, alienated thirty-somethings on the cusp of self-awareness.
It will arrive in time for my Name Day!
I made an eight-fold zine (here‘s how you make it; wikihow.com/Make-a-Booklet-from-Paper) to promote my reflective writing blog club hub. I just need to make some photocopies and send them across the university in the internal post.
If you want to make this at home download jc.jpg and print it in the centre of A4 paper, then fold/cut as instructed at wikihow.com/Make-a-Booklet-from-Paper