Since taking part in the zine swap, I feel I have immersed myself more within the zine community. I have made contacts with other zine creators, which has lead me to new people and organisations to follow within the community. I had never really considered it before this, but I have become aware of how simple it is to distribute work to zine collectors and libraries.
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While the Reading Room is closed today, some of our librarians have been giving the journal collection a bit of an overhaul! 📚 You'll now find magazines and zines alongside more academic journals, so do have a flick through next time you're in. If you're looking for something in particular, don't forget that our library also has 100s of current subscriptions too (search for titles at wellcomelibrary.org) ✨ #readingroom #explorewellcome #magazines #journals #zines #wellcomelibrary #shelfie
I first became aware of this from seeing an image on Wellcome Collection’s Instagram page, showing Sick! Exhibition’s exhibition programme and zine made at the zine workshop I attended in November. It didn’t click until I saw more zines being sent to Wellcome Collection that I could contribute my work to the collection.
I found an article on the Wellcome site about personal health zines and they gave the email contact of the librarian at Wellcome Collection. I sent her a message to see if she was interested in having my zines, sending her the links to the digital versions on Issuu. Nicola Cook, the Wellcome Collection librarian, was happy to have my work donated to the collection. Now my work is exhibited in the Reading Room at Wellcome Collection in London. I am so happy that my work is on display in such a fitting environment. People who look at that library go in with an interest in health, art, medicine and science, so will already have some interest in looking at my work. I put my contact details in the back of each zine, so hopefully I will receive some feedback from visitors in the future.
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CALLING ALL ZINE-MAKERS!! #FeministLibrary wants to archive and showcase copies of YOUR #zines and independent publications…. We are asking makers to donate 1-2 copies – these will go into our Library to be preserved and shared for years to come, and will also be showcased as part of our upcoming pop-up #Library at #TateModern! The spirit of #selfpublishing and #rebellion has always been at the heart of the Feminist Library. We have a growing collection of contemporary zines, and we’d love to have more to share with our visitors and future #feminists. Please send your zines by post to: The Feminist Library, 5 Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7XW …or drop in during our opening times! If you would like them shown at the #TateExchange pop-up please send them by 16th April or bring them to us at Tate Exchange 20-22 April.
I also saw this post on the 5th April and sent two copies of “Sick Days” and “Waiting Room” to the Feminist Zine Library based in London. Although my work isn’t considered to be particularly feminist, there are arguments in the community as to whether the diagnosis of illnesses such as fibromyalgia and M.E take so long because they occur mainly in women, and we are not believed by medical professionals. Jennifer Brea discusses this in her film “Unrest” how women have historically been misdiagnosed as having hysteria when showing symptoms of what we now know as M.E, and would be deemed insane and sent to institutions. It has only been in the last 40 years or so that things have changed, but there is this cause of concern still underlying in the diagnosis process. For example, I was told for years that I just had depression, no matter how hard I tried to convince doctors of how sure I was it was more than that. It is a tenuous link, but a link nonetheless, therefore deemed my work suitable for the collection.
I sent my work off to The Feminist Library and was part of their exhibit at Tate Exchange on April 21st and 22nd. Although I did not receive feedback from them or anyone visitors, it has certainly boosted my confidence knowing that my work is in the collection.
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The fun has started in our comfy (and air-conditioned) pop up Library at @tateexchange Join us on Level 5 of Tate Modern's Blavatnik building for great views, free tea, zines, puzzles and a brilliant taste of the Feminist Library! We are here until 6pm today and 12-5.30pm tomorrow – check out our programme via the link in our bio #feministlibrary #freeinlondon #feministeventsinlondon
There are a few more zine collections I have become aware of by taking part in this that I would like to contribute towards in the future. Nicola Cook, the librarian at Wellcome Collection, has become a really influential resource, as she regularly shares opportunities for artists and zine creators to get involved on various projects surrounding health, zines or both. I will definitely check her site regularly for any opportunities that arise.
In the future, I will be contributing my work to Cornwall Zine Library, which is a fairly new zine library, once I have more work to send out, as I would like feedback on more updated works. In the mean time, I will work on some new work as well as building contacts of other zine libraries to send work to.
Also, Craig Atkinson, a zine creator who I am in touch with after taking part in the zine swap, has started his own zine review Instagram channel called Five O’Clock Zine, and is happy to do swaps or have zines sent to him to review. This would be a simple way of getting my work further into the community as well as receiving feedback. I would also like to explore this method of distribution further as well and see what other sites offer this exchange. This would probably be a better method of receiving some solid recorded feedback, which unfortunately I will not have for the 201 submission, but will be able to have hopefully for the 301 hand in. This is because zine reviewers often have a back catalogue of zines to review before reviewing new ones; there’s kind of a waiting list situation.
@fiveoclockzine, (2018) Five O’Clock Zine [online] Available at: https://www.instagram.com/fiveoclockzine/ (Accessed 22 April 2018)
@thefeministlibrary, (2018) The Feminist Library [online] 5th April 2018 Available at: https://www.instagram.com/p/BhMspC1A5sd/?taken-by=thefeministlibrary (Accessed 5 April 2018)
@thefeministlibrary, (2018) The Feminist Library [online] 21st April 2018 Available at: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bh1SCUnhR3H/?taken-by=thefeministlibrary (Accessed 21 April 2018)
@wellcomecollection, (2018) Wellcome Collection [online] 19th February 2018 Available at: https://www.instagram.com/p/BfYgX8FgRaI/?taken-by=wellcomecollection (Accessed 19 February 2018)
Cornwall Zine Library, (2018) Contact [online] Available at: https://cornwallzinelibrary.wordpress.com/contact/ (Accessed 30 April 2018)
Tate, (2018) Feminist Library on Loan [online] Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/tate-exchange/workshop/feminist-library-on-loan (Accessed 15 April 2018)
Wellcome Collection, (2017) Six personal health zines that might change your life [online] Available at: https://wellcomecollection.org/articles/six-personal-health-zines-that-might-change-your-life (Accessed 23 March 2018)