Saturday, March 30, 2013

Portsmouth Zine Fair

Today I visited the Gold Room for the first time. This is an art gallery inside Room 237, the graphic novels, books & comics shop at 76 Elm Grove in Southsea. This is a great subterranean space run entirely by volunteers with a wonderfully creative diy feel and was today hosting the Portsmouth Zine Fair.

We were extra excited to go along because my son was on a stall there selling his comic 'The Red Crow'. It was so awesome that he chose to stay all day instead of going to a party and eating cake!

There were stalls of interesting zines (many of them free), small books, badges, postcards and handmade crafts, music and more. I particularly enjoyed a talk from the guest speaker Syra Trek about zine culture and it's subversion of the corporately controlled media and the boringly repetitive and conforming images of how we are portrayed, with particular reference to gender. Her comment about how this culture really needs to get over its aversion to seeing body hair on women made me smile and almost get my unashamed hairy legs out!

The need to create our own media and challenge the mainstream abusiveness of the tabloids was emphasised by the slideshow talk being dedicated to the memory of Lucy Meadows, whose suspected suicide was attributed in large part to the bullying she received by the Daily Mail.

Many people including quite a few children were coming and going and participating in the live drawing and zine making taking place at one of the tables. In fact I found it all very inspiring and may even have a go at doodling my own zine ready for the next fair!

 After we left, walking back up Elm Grove we passed the recycling bin which had been handsomely decorated with a poster by someone expressing positive suggestions for moving away from the current economic mess.

All in all a great day in Portsmouth (the only regret being that we didn't find the opportunity to also attend the demonstration against the bedroom tax) and made even better in the evening by the first episode of the new Doctor Who series, but I suppose Portsmouth can't really claim credit for that!