‘Zines Aren’t Dead’: DiY Approaches To Inclusion/Exclusion and Diversity

‘Zines Aren’t Dead’: DiY Approaches to Inclusion/exclusion and Diversity
Date and time
15 Jul 2021 (2:00pm - 3:00pm)




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A print music zine

In this online panel, BA (Hons) Music Industries course director’s Dr Matt Grimes and Dr Iain Taylor, talk with 3rd year Music Industries and Media and Communications students Simone Barton and Jess Hammond. Partly inspired by their interaction with the third-year workshop module ‘DiY Music Cultures’, Simone and Jess share their experiences of, and reasons for, producing and self publishing ‘zines that highlight and tackle issues around inclusion/exclusion and diversity in contemporary music scenes and subcultures.

Dr Matt Grimes is the BA (Hons) Music Industries course director and Gen Sec of the Punk Scholars Network. He has published work on subjects covering punk ‘zines, anarcho-punk and DiY punk scenes, punk pedagogy and music entrepreneurship.

Dr Iain Taylor is the BA (Hons) Music Industries deputy course director. He has published work on subjects as music materiality and curation, music entrepreneurship, punk pedagogy and Covid-19 and the UK Live Music Industry.

Simone Barton is a final year Music Industries student. She is also the author, producer and publisher of ’Tear It Down’, a ‘zine which celebrates the misfits of rock and metal music cultures (i.e. POC, women, and the LGBTQ+ community). She is also a music journalist, writing for music blogs such as Turn It Up Louder and The Alt Club.

Jess Hammond is a final year Media and Communications student with a passion for all things music related. As an adopted Brummie, she has immersed herself in the city’s vibrant and dynamic independent music scene here, grounding herself in the heart of Lower Trinity Street in Digbeth at The Night Owl venue. Her self-produced and self-published zine 'Change the Record' explores the relationship between disabilities, accessibility, and the live music industry. 

View video transcription

[00:00:03] Asya Hi, I'm Asya Draganova, and I'm one of the Music Industries lectures at the Birmingham School of Media, and I have worked on a number of special zine issues of the experimental popular music journal RIFFS, together with third year students. Our latest edition, Cyber Backlash, internally designed and compiled by students, was published online-only because of covid related circumstances, of course. So I believe that this zine embodies the values of the new Centre for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts because of its very format. Zines are historically known for voicing marginalised positions and also for taking on a DIY community led ethos and aesthetic which allows for a range of creative expressions. For example, cyber backlash includes politically charged poetry, caricatures colleges and a manifesto. Yeah, of course.

[00:01:01] Jess Cyber Backlash: Resistance as an Act of Retraining, is a collaborative project put together by third year DIY Music Cultures students as a reaction to the Government's exclusion and undermining of the creative industry. When the government came up with the Rethink, Reskill, Reboot scheme to, I guess, push people away from the creative industry and encourage them to get a job elsewhere during the pandemic and we were just having none of it. We are students who are looking to get careers within the creative field. That is where our passion lies. So creating the zine was an opportunity to put that into a physical format and voice our opinions about it. A lot of the content in the zine mocks and I guess memifies, if that's a word, the Boris' Rethink, Reskill, Reboot and, you know, just kind of throw it back in their face. We're all people who are very aware of the situation that's going on, we all know that we can adapt. And if anything, the students this year have been able to prove that we are way more than capable of being able to push the limits and the boundaries and like these pressures that are being put on us and still produce some really good work.

[00:02:03] Simone So Cyber Backlash was a zine that we made to voice our frustrations and annoyance at the way in which students and creators had been ignored or mistreated by the government in the recent lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. It came off the back of the retraining campaign that the government released. And there's a bunch of third year creative media students being told already before we go into the field that we need to retrain, kind of lit a fire within us to make something that platformed student voices on a topic such as politics, where we are often ignored, especially as a diverse group of people from different backgrounds, races, genders. It was a great way for us all to provide a piece that could come together as something broader that many students could probably relate to.

[00:02:57] Asya So the zine has been put together by our very talented DIY Music Cultures class for 2020/2021, and I hope that you enjoy it.