Hello Ali! Tell me about yourself and the intention behind starting Peckham Zine Club?
Hi! I moved to London about three years ago from Sydney, and have lived in South East London the whole time. I’ve lived in Peckham for almost a year now, and it’s been so amazing. It’s a cliché, but there’s so much energy here and I think that was big part of starting the club – everybody I meet is so full of ideas and inspiration and I guess that pushed me to do something like this.
Zines have been important to me for a really long time, since I was a teenager. I grew up in a pretty boring town, so I kind of lived my life through magazines like Dazed & Confused and i-D; they really meant a lot to me. So I started making zines, like that was my way of being involved in the conversation. And I had a hard time sticking to a medium, I wanted to write and draw and take pictures so making my own zines I think was a good way for me to try out whatever I was interested in.
I started Peckham Zine Club mainly because my friends and I were always talking about interesting stuff we wanted to explore and turn in to a zine and could just never find the time. So I just thought if we had something in place, where we had to stick to a schedule and show up and work at a set time we’d be able to finally get all that done. The same way people join running groups or whatever, if people are expecting you it’s harder to be lazy. So it’s kind of like SoulCycle for zines, but with slightly less shouting.
How often do you guys meet to create zines?
Since September we’ve been meeting monthly, first Tuesday of every month.
Do you base the meetings on a set theme or let loose during the meeting?
It’s pretty loose, people just work on whatever they want to. I think we’ll keep the regular meet-ups that way, but we’ll be hosting occasional workshops on a set theme. We put one on at the South East London Zine Fest a couple of weeks ago based around making maps, and I’d like to do more stuff like that next year.
What, do you find, are the three pros and three cons to working in a team?
Pros are more ideas, more encouragement, and you get a sounding board for whatever’s on your mind, which I think is really valuable. Cons are more compromises, more logistics, and there’s always a potential personality clash, which is never fun.
Peckham Zine Club. Describe it in five words.
Collaboration, productivity, beers, talking, ideas.
Who is the main audience of your zine club?
I think anybody who is interested in making a zine and is struggling to find the time, or would like to meet someone to collaborate with. Also people who maybe don’t know much about zines and are curious to see what’s involved.
What would you like to put in place for the foreseeable future for both your own work and the club? You touched upon a great interest in abandoned places – which we totally have in common. What’s next to explore?
Oh man, for my own work I’d really like to finish something! I have all these half finished zines shoved under my bed like dirty secrets. For zine club, I just want to see it grow and for the members to all be happy with what they’re producing. Like I said, next year I’m looking in to hosting more workshops and talks and things like that, maybe setting up a distro. We’re working on a publication with Kiosk Books, which all of the zine club members are involved with and I’m really excited about.
Abandoned places I think are going to be a big theme for what I’m working on personally, maybe we could have a zine club field trip? I don’t know! Really I guess one of the challenges for me now is that Peckham Zine Club is so new, and I have so many plans and ideas, I need to prioritise so that I don’t end up trying to be everything and stretching myself too thin.
If there was an interest in your zine club, what information would be needed to gain access?
That we meet at 7pm on the first Tuesday of every month, at Rye Wax – a record store in the Bussey Building. Everybody’s welcome! I’d recommend also joining our Facebook group, because if anything changes or there’s any info I want to share with members I’ll post it in there. They could also follow on Twitter or Tumblr.
Imagine Peckham Zine Club as a type of food – what would it be and why?
Pizza! Definitely pizza. It can be shared with a group, or enjoyed privately, and it can be pretty much anything you want to be – dessert pizza, meat lovers, vegan, stuffed crust. Goes best with beer, and you don’t have to be an expert to make a pizza. Pizza is a true DIY food.
Get yourself down to Rye Wax, an inspirational space in Peckham Rye, on the first Tuesday of each month with a pen in hand! With a cheeky beer in hand and the sound of great music in the background, it’s a welcoming hub to produce whatever you feel like creating. Check out the next event just here – see you there!