The main collaborator for LET’S TALK ZINE is Building Bridges Pendle (BBP) - a registered charity based in Nelson (27 miles north of Manchester City Centre) who facilitate a range of community events to promote social cohesion and acceptance within diverse area of Lancashire. In-Situ are a partnering not-for-profit arts organisation also based in Pendle who work with Building Bridges Pendle on various events and endeavours.
The core agenda of BBP is to improve community relations and awareness by celebrating the rich cultural heritage that makes up the local area. The charity hope that their work can help people to view the variety of cultures and faiths within the area as a benefit, which provides an additional layer of richness to the community.
LET’S TALK ZINE is a collaboration between BBP, In-Situ and Manchester School of Architecture – aiming to produce a series of ideas for a community space in the ground floor of BBP’s new building in Nelson, which will be documented in a zine, alongside information about the charity, recent endeavours work and future aspirations. The zine document will form part of BBP's bid for future funding to realise the ideas for the downstairs community space.
Further information of Building Bridges Pendle can be found on their website: www.buildingbridgespendle.org.uk or you can find them on Facebook by using their handle @buildingbridgespendle
Posted 19 Mar 2020 10:07
THE FORM: ZINE
Re-introducing the zine! A zine (pronounced zeen) is an independently produced and published booklet containing original work, or appropriated images or text – based around a common theme.
Historically, zines can be traced back to 1776 when Thomas Paine self-published a collection of ideas/propaganda which ultimately contributed towards the War for Independence in the USA, though most people will associate zines with punk culture in the 1970/80s.
Zines are small printed documents with a strong graphical style, which are usually hand printed, folded and stapled before being locally distributed. However, in recent years, many zines have been made available in digital format also. Zines have served as a significant medium of communication in various subcultures and marginalised communities, frequently drawing inspiration from a DIY philosophy that disregards the traditional conventions of professional design and publishing houses. Instead zines propose an alternative, confident and self-aware contribution. The core ideas behind a zine directly tie into the charity aims of BBP. Small circulation zines are individually made, emphasising a personal connection between the creator and reader, turning imagined communities into embodied ones.
In the case of our zine, the underlying theme is the work of BBP and the goal of community cohesion, culminating in the design of a multi-functional community space in the downstairs area of BBP's new office in Nelson.
Our zine will document: the charity themselves, the communities they work with, previous events they have held, a manifesto for the future, and conceptual ideas for transforming the downstairs office into a community space. The zine should be able to act as a supporting document for future funding bids that BBP may apply for, but also as a fully realised stand-alone document which gives a comprehensive overview of the charity and their future goals, without the need for additional introductions or explanations.
Posted 19 Mar 2020 10:13
THE SITE: 20 SCOTLAND ROAD, NELSON, BB9 7UU.
The site for the proposed community space is the ground floor of BBP's new office on Scotland Road, Nelson. The building occupies a corner plot on an important road within the town centre. The site is located centrally with good transport links.
BBP moved into the premises recently and have aspirations for a mixed-use space which occupies the entire downstairs footprint - encouraging social cohesion and generating some form of monetary income. Initial ideas which have been suggested in meetings with BBP have been coffee-shops and rentable work spaces! We are excited to see what the teams put forward during our EVENTS week.
Posted 19 Mar 2020 10:13
THE COMMUNITY: NELSON, PENDLE
Nelson is a diverse community, with a mix of cultures and faiths. The wide range of people who make up this community is celebrated by Building Bridges Pendle. According to the 2011 census: the racial composition of the town in 2011 was 57.8% White (53.4% White British), 40.4% Asian, 0.1% Black, 1.5% Mixed and 0.2% Other. The largest religious groups are Christian (39.0%) and Muslim (37.6%). 59.9% of adults between the ages of 16 and 74 are classed as economically active and in work.
The work of BBP aims to move beyond social tolerance - instead championing social cohesion! Understanding that a rich mix of culture is a cause for celebration.
Posted 19 Mar 2020 10:14
BBP EVENT: FAITH, MUSIC & COMMUNITY - SUNDAY 29TH MARCH
BBP have kindly invited the MARCH students from EVENTS team 6 to their first major event in 2020: ‘Faith, Music & Community’ taking place at Marsden Community Primary School on Sunday 29th March.
An open invitation has been extended to the wider community for people to come together in a spirit of celebrating diversity within the local community. The event programme will feature a fusion of music styles that reflect Pendle’s richly diverse communities, including Sufi Chanting, Choir Singing from local Churches, and a never before seen performance of ‘Dabkah’, a native folk dance from Syria. There will be a unique opportunity for cross-cultural conversations and making friends. Guests in attendance will also enjoy a three-course meal of Syrian cuisine made locally.
The event will mark the first contact between EVENTS team 6 and the wider community that BBP regularly engage with, an exciting opportunity for all involved. The MARCH students will relay their experiences to the BA students during EVENTS week.
Posted 19 Mar 2020 10:14
WHAT IS THE PLAN? WEEK 1
Week 1 is all about understanding BBP, the community that they work with, and familiarising ourselves with the concept of the zine. The itinerary for week one has been planned around these elements. Our week will start with introductions – familiarising the team with each other, the collaborator, the project and the proposed outcomes, before moving on to practical talks, exhibition visits and workshops. We will then make a group trip to Nelson, Pendle to meet the collaborator and see the site. The week will conclude by producing initial designs for the downstairs area of the office.
Posted 20 Mar 2020 17:13
WHAT IS THE PLAN? WEEK 2
Week 2 is based around the development of concept proposals for the downstairs office, and the design/delivery of the zine. BBP will visit us mid week for an informal review. There will be further artist talks to help aid the translation of ideas into tangible visuals/models, and to give practical advice on the creation of a zine. The week will end with a mini exhibition at MSA, with the entire EVENTS team and the collaborator.
Posted 20 Mar 2020 17:13
GUEST SPEAKER: LIAM FALLON
We are excited to confirm that Manchester based artist and MSoA alumni Liam Fallon will be joining us on 04/05 to discuss his design approach, and offer advice on translating conceptual ideas into a 3D form. Liam's expertise will be particularly useful as we move into the final stages of concept design for BBP's office space, and begin to explore which mediums are most suitable to convey our ideas. Sketch models are a simple tool which allows the designer and audience to explore a space in 3D, which some groups may feel inclined to explore further.
Liam is an award-winning sculptor who graduated from MSoA in 2017. Since graduating he has exhibited in Glasgow, New York, Valencia, Seoul and London, and opened his first solo show at the Turnpike Gallery, Leigh in 2019.
Liam's joint show with German conceptual artist Cathrin Hoffmann will open in Berlin in April 2020.
Further information on Liam and a collection of previous work is available to view on: www.liam-fallon.com - alternatively you can find him on instagram: @lfallon
Posted 20 Mar 2020 17:21
GROUP VISIT: ZINE COLLECTION AT MMU SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
MMU Special Collections (located on the fourth floor of MMU All Saints Library) is a valuable resource for students at Manchester School of Art, holding a wide range of artist books, poster collections, decorated papers and design ephemera. Following the lead of forward-thinking institutions such as the British Library, the Tate, and Glasgow School of Art - MMU Special Collections introduced a small collection of zines in 2017, reflecting the ongoing interest and scholarship around zines and their history within the contemporary design world.
The focus of the collection is to demonstrate the growth of the zine as a medium for creative self-expression through a DIY method of production and design. Zines are a legitimate form of printing which is often overlooked by established print collections. The zines held in the current collection were produced across different decades, spanning a wide range of topics and graphical techniques.
Visiting the collection at MMU Special Collections will be an important point of our EVENTS calendar, providing the team with the opportunity to see a wide range of different designs in a physical form and to emphasise how loose the restrictions of a zine can be. The final product should be personal, graphical and fun. It will be important to note the differences in paper quality, printing methods and binding techniques - which will be of use when we begin to look at printing our final product.
Posted 20 Mar 2020 17:22
GUEST SPEAKER: SAFFA KHAN
Introducing illustrator and zine-maker: Saffa Khan! Saffa is also a graduate of MSoA, who now resides in Glasgow. Their work explores important themes such of community, social belonging, identity and mental health - often recreating their intimate thoughts and feelings as printed works; in the form of illustrations, prints and mark making.
Saffa is a zine-producing elite! They have self-produced and published over 17 zines throughout their career, and have collaborated on many more. They now run workshops on zine-making and printing, hoping to provide marginalised voices with the skills required to represent their ideas in a tangible form. Saffa encourages collaboration, skill-sharing and community engagement through DIY culture.
Saffa is an undeniable source of knowledge for all things zine, boasting a strong design aesthetic and technical prowess. Her talk will be an insightful window into the world of zines, and equip all students with a strong base knowledge to move the project forward.
Further information on Saffa and a collection of previous work is available to view on: www.safka.co.uk
Posted 20 Mar 2020 17:22
GROUP VISIT: THE CIRCLE AND THE SQUARE EXHIBITION AT WHITWORTH ART GALLERY
During the course of EVENTS week, 'The Circle and The Square' will exhibit at Whitworth Art Gallery, returning to the UK after an international tour. The video installation was realised over the course of two years through a collaboration of local organisations in Pendle; including both In-Situ and BBP both. (Full team: In-Situ, The Free Spiritual Centre, Building Bridges Pendle and Brierfield Action in the Community—working with artist Suzanne Lacy).
In the video installation, artist Suzanne Lacy explores the demise of the textile industry as an economic and social driver in the North West of England and the resulting separation of South Asian-heritage and white communities who used to work together in the vast mills there. This localized critical inquiry represents a much needed national conversation on race, work, and capitalism, captured in the epic spaces of one such mill that stands as a symbolic remnant of the globalized trade in skills, commodities and people that continues to resonate, with seismic repercussions, across the world.
The Circle and the Square was a three-day performance in September 2016 when the Brierfield Mill, sitting in disrepair since its closure, was once again open to the community. Volunteers led tours of the mill, interviewed residents on the past and future of the region, organized a mill-workers’ reunion, and other events. The project culminated in a day-long performance with Dhikr chanting, Shape Note singing, and a dinner for 500 residents.
These type of events are indicative of the work BBP engage in, and the future aspirations for the community hub. We will visit Whitworth Art Gallery as a group to watch the film, and further understand the collaborator and community we are working alongside.
Posted 23 Mar 2020 16:08
RISOGRAPH PRINTING WORKSHOP
Risograph printing facilities are available within The Bookbinding Workshop, located on the ground floor of Chatham Building (MMU). Inductions are required before the facilities can be used. We have arranged for the entire group to be inducted onto the printers - allowing for the final printing of our zine, and for use in future university projects.
Risograph is a high-speed digital printing system manufactured by the Riso Kagaku Corporation and designed mainly for high-volume photocopying and printing. The original material is scanned through the machine and a master is created, by means of tiny heat spots on a thermal plate burning voids (corresponding to image areas) in a master sheet. This master is then wrapped around a drum and ink is forced through the voids in the master. The paper runs flat through the machine while the drum rotates at high speed to create each image on the paper.
MMU currently offer 6 different inks that can be layered up if necessary. The machines are capable of printing on various types of paper.
Posted 23 Mar 2020 16:08
THE DESIGN BRIEF
The brief for the architectural design/concept element of LET'S TALK ZINE remains relatively loose. BBP are aiming to apply for Future High Streets funding (they are currently in the bidding process) which would entail a new masterplan for the shopping centre of Nelson. A key element in the re-visoning of Nelson town centre is the need for a radical rethinking of a town community centre/hub which could be delivered via the ground floor of BBP new office.
BBP are very open to different business ideas pertaining to what the downstairs space could be, or could contain - however the scheme should generate a small monetary value to assist with running costs, and the facilities should encourage community cohesion, not segregation. The design should not be focused on a retail offering. Initial ideas which have been discussed in meetings between MARCH students and the BBP team have been; an independent community run coffee shop, hireable workshop/events space, community florist, dance space - the opportunities are endless. We are excited to see what LET'S TALK ZINE can conceptualise for the space!
Posted 23 Mar 2020 16:46
Nelson is in the top 10% for deprivation in the UK, businesses in the town centre are struggling in a traditional sense, but the area has retained a strong sense of history and identity. The community is also very diverse with over 30% from a BAMER background. The design proposals for the downstairs area of BBP office will aim to:
-create a town centre hub that is a space which enhances people’s individual and collective sense of wellbeing.
-create a community hub that offers a space to connect people from different backgrounds: through social activities, events, a space to talk, tackle cohesion and inequality.
–a space to explore alternative economies + community development in a town centre, revitalising the trends of the dying high-street.
Working alongside BBP on LET'S TALK ZINE is an exciting opportunity to be part of a real project that could potentially be realised in the future, which would have tangible benefits to the community of Nelson and the wider area of Pendle. We are excited by LET'S TALK ZINE, as the project provides a unique chance for the MSA team to work creatively and engage directly with local people (who are ultimately the end-user of the design proposal).
Posted 23 Mar 2020 16:47
Ramsgate Community Centre is a precedent for the type of venue that the downstairs of BBP office could become. The venue is a multi-functional group space with a moveable coffee bar/cafe area. The hub is open to anyone to drop in, grab a coffee and have a chat. The sale of coffee contributes a small monetary income to the running of the hub. On top of this function, the space has grown to host a variety of community organisations which engage with residents and give space for hearing concerns. The NHS, police, council and housing associations have all taken advantage of the hub’s central location to meet with people and break down boundaries within the community.
Posted 24 Mar 2020 09:38
EVENT CANCELLATION AND FINAL THANKS
Unfortunately due to recent events regarding the outbreak of COVID-19 our EVENTS project can no longer continue as planned. After months of planning and exciting conversations with our collaborator and invited guests, we are confident that the project would have been a success and had a positive effect on the community of Nelson.
Despite the project not being seen to fruition, we hope the discussions we have had with BBP so far, and the plans/research we have produced could still be useful as a foundation for further development of the community hub and the application for future funding. The unique opportunity to collaborate with BBP and the communities they work with has been invaluable to our professional development, and working on a project which prioritises social value would have been a benefit to all BA + MARCH students involved.
We would like to take this final opportunity to thank Building Bridges Pendle for their continued support, enthusiasm and energy through the duration of EVENTS20 - in particular Rauf, Katie, and Shabaz who have been so engaged with the project from day one. We would also like to thank Becky at MSA for organising EVENTS20, and the BA students who had chosen to join us for the EVENTS week this year, in hopes of producing an exciting project with the potential for real social change!