Thursday, 30 July 2015

Contribute to Shape & Situate zine #7

Want to be a part of the 7th issue of 'Shape & Situate: Posters of Inspirational Women in Europe' zine?
If so, I’m looking for A5-sized black and white posters of inspirational/radical women (or women’s collectives) in or from Europe.

(Working on this project for the past 5 years has been really great, but there's other projects and publications I want to concentrate on, so after about 147 posters (plus the ones for this upcoming issue), and the encouraging plethora of other women's history art projects that have cropped up, I think it's time to draw a close to this particular zine. So, now is the last chance to get your poster of somebody you admire and wish to document in a S&S zine!)

The deadline for poster submission is October 31st 2015

As always I’ll accept posters of all women whom you as the artist deem inspirational/influential*. However, please bear in mind that the most interesting posters so far have been of women who have not previously been readily documented in our history; Radical, passionate, influential women living, working, educating, and being active in all sorts of fields from all across Europe. Women displaying some kick-ass politics are always welcome in the zine. This may very well be somebody within your community (past or present), or somebody who you personally know/ are aware of. Much radical women’s history has been preserved as knowledge kept by our community itself, and I’d love to help give voice to these small narratives that are so easily lost in the hegemonic and more linear, capital-H version of history.

Some small specifications/rules…

I'm looking for:

- A black & white poster (to be emailed as a Jpeg, or posted to me so that I can scan the original if that's easier for you) email to: m_k_maddison AT hotmail DOT com

- The poster will be reproduced in the zine at A5 size (in case that affects how you'd like to present your work?) A5 paper dimensions are: 148mm x 210mm. 5.83" x 8.27". It’s also worth bearing in mind that I’ve been blowing the posters up and printing them in A3 size for various exhibitions up and down the UK, so if you could make your posters as high-res as possible that’ll help me when it comes to the next exhibition.

- The poster will tell the history of or share information on a radical or inspirational women (or women's collective) in or from Europe in poster-form. I'm looking at women in Europe as a focus with this zine, as very often a lot of projects similar to this one have been so American-heavy and I feel it really omits a lot of amazing women from being discussed (this is not to say that women outside of Europe are not inspirational, obviously). I could write a lot more here about the rationale of the focus of this project, so if you have questions, write to me.

- All the information you want to share about your subject must fit within the confines of your poster so that each page stands alone (as is the nature of any poster with a message), there's no place for annexes!

- The poster should get across to viewers why the subject is inspirational/influential (to you, or to ‘society’, or whatever).

- By 'woman' I mean any self-identified women.

- Where possible, the poster will take as its subject somebody/a collective who isn't already readily documented within our history. I would love for the zine to raise awareness of amazing women (living or deceased) who have largely gone under the radar, or who are/were active within our own communities.

- You don't have to be in Europe yourself to contribute to the zine. It's open submissions from anybody, anywhere.

IMPORTANT: If you’re interested, drop me a line with your idea(s) of who you’d like to make a poster about, so that I can check that there’s no duplications with other peoples ideas and suggestions. Please see the ‘about’ section of the Shape & Situate Facebook page; in the ‘long description’ there is a list of women who have been documented in issues 1-6. [EDIT:] I have also pasted this full list into the comments section below in case that's helpful. Please note that I’ve already received suggestions for issue #7 though, so even if the women you’re thinking about making a poster for is not in the list above it’s still probably best to run your idea past me first. Thanks!

Posters can be made in any/many forms – previously there have been text-based posters, illustration-based posters, letter press posters, photographic posters, cut&paste posters, digitally and/or hand produced posters, etc. etc., all created by a range of people with different artistic experience. One’s ability to ‘draw’ is not a concern of the project. The project is about passing on knowledges of inspirational women not about policing anyone’s artistic ability. I have a strong belief in the creative ability and potential of everybody, and the fact that we all have important and unique knowledge to share. It’s the passion for the women in the zine that’s the important bit.

Any questions, or ideas? Please email me: m_k_maddison AT Hotmail DOT com - or pop them in a comment below.

Many thanks,
With love,
Melanie xox

*Within reason. I’m not into the idea of policing whom people find inspirational, or who ‘belongs’ in a project such as this. But, if you’re gonna send me a poster submission about somebody with nasty-ass views/politics/actions and try and tell me they’re inspirational, I’m likely not to think it suitable for this project, and the submission won’t make the zine. I hasten to add that this has never happened in any issue of the zine before, but if you wanna chat about your ideas before you start work on your poster then please feel free.

Images from the Shape & Situae zine in a day bonanza!

Thanks to Leeds Queer Film festival for hosting the making of a special edition of Shape & Situate, focussing on self-identified queer women. Thanks too to Footprint Workers Co-op for collaborating and bringing the riso and for printing the zine as we made it so that it was ready to take home at the end of the evening. Thank you to everybody who took the time and effort to make and contribute a poster to this issue!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Shape & Situate at Leeds Queer Film Festival - special edition as a zine in a day

On Saturday 18th July at Leeds Queer Film Festival 2015, Shape & Situate and Footprint Workers Co-op will be making a Zine In A Day.

We’ll be making a special issue of ‘Shape & Situate: Posters of Inspirational Women in Europe’ zine.

It will be a zine full of A5 posters specifically focused on radical self-identified Queer Women in/from Europe. Women whose actions and contributions are inspirational and influential. Women who have perhaps acted as organisers, activists, agitators, pioneers, educators, or role models in various fields.

We’re looking for posters/zine-pages that tell and share the stories, lives, actions and histories of self-identified queer women.

In particular, if possible we’d love to capture knowledge of local queer women who are/were active in our communities; those inspiring women that we encounter on a day-to-day basis.

We want to question and challenge traditional/hegemonic history which suppresses, ignores or omits.

Help us document queer women and remember the voices of the underrepresented and the oppositional.

How to get involved: Make an A5 poster to bring along on the day, or email your poster to us at: You can also create a poster at the film fest, perhaps inspired by the people you meet or learn about in the films, stories or workshops. There will be dedicated workshop space for this poster making & also to learn about & discuss other creative, grassroots social-history memorial projects.

We’ll be Riso Printing the zine in various coloured inks live at the Film Festival & selling copies/displaying the posters from late afternoon on Saturday 18th June.

Get involved & let us know in a poster who inspires you!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

S&S #6 first glimpse!

Issue #6 of 'Shape & Situate: Posters of Inspirational Women in Europe' zine is back from the printers!

Huge thanks to everybody who contributed a poster, it's the biggest S&S zine yet (27 wonderful posters in this issue)!

They'll be up for sale at soon-ish, will soon be added to the Footprint Workers Co-op zine distro, and contributors' copies will be out in the post tomorrow.

Get in touch if you'd like any more info (or visit the new S&S Facebook page for updates)


p.s. Pink Riso forever!!

S&S zine's Facebook page

Shape & Situate zine now has a Facebook page... Head over to there for the latest news!

Monday, 19 May 2014

part & parcel

From my inbox...
Part and Parcel
Venue: The Tetley, Leeds
Date: Saturday 24th May 2014
Time: 12-4pm
Free event, just drop in...

In commemoration of the life of Nelson Mandela, artists Anne-Marie Atkinson and Clare McCormack invite members of the public to engage in conversations about the right to protest and speak out about what you believe. Take part in a shared creative opportunity to produce postcards, letters and artworks that will bring colour, light and hope into the cells of prisoners of conscience around the world.

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years of his life in prison for his part in the struggle against apartheid. Many people around the world continue to be imprisoned for their political beliefs, or for protesting against injustice.

Part and Parcel invites you to learn about political prisoners, some far away and some much closer to home, and create a piece of artwork to send them. This simple act shows solidarity with people imprisoned for their beliefs, connects them to a wider community and acts as a reminder that they are not alone in striving for a better world.

All are welcome. We will provide a variety of materials, as well as templates for those who’d like help to get started.

We look forward to welcoming you.

More detail here:

Sunday, 18 May 2014

syria speaks on tour

From my inbox...

Syria Speaks is an anthology of uprising literature, art and culture, showcasing the work of over fifty artists and writers who are challenging the culture of violence in Syria with creative resistance.

Syria Speaks is a celebration of a people determined to reclaim their dignity, freedom and self-expression. Join Syrian artists and writers at events across the UK for readings and discussions on cultural resistance in the country.

The Syria Speaks UK tour will feature, together with the book co-authors Malu Halasa and Zaher Omareen, writer Khaled Khalifa, videoartist Khalil Younes, writer Robin Yassin-Kassab.

Tour dates, poster, and more details here:

making art, making media, making change

From my inbox...

Making Art, Making Media, Making Change!
Call for Submissions for zines, comics and other queer-feminist material to build up a resource collection Are you writing a zine, drawing a comic, or producing posters, flyers and other visual material with a queer-feminist approach? Would you like your materials to be accessible to young people, to get them thinking and to encourage them to become active themselves?
The science communication project "Making Art, Making Media, Making Change!" (funded by the Austrian-Science Fund) aims to introduce young people between 12 and 26 years, especially girls* and young women*, to the wide field of queer-feminist culture and media production. At the same time we invite them to become active cultural and media producers, to ask critical questions about power structures and to open up new possibilities for action in order to initiate social change.
However, getting access to queer-feminist cultural projects or alternative media can often be a real challenge as these materials are rarely collected or documented on a large scale. Information or the publications themselves often remain inaccessible for interested people. That's where we would like to intervene by building up a resource collection of zines, comics, posters and other visual material, that in the near future should be distributed via (school) libraries, youth / girl* / cultural centers, book mobiles etc.
We are looking for a range of materials (zines, comics, flyers, posters and so on) in order to choose from this pool of submissions. One important and central criterion is a clear queer-feminist background, connected to an anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, anti-ableist etc. self-understanding. We are especially interested in material dealing with different aspects of DIY-culture or/and that questions, discusses and criticizes social and political structures, such as social hierarchies and exclusions, gender roles and norms. In addition, we are looking for material that deals with discrimination, such as racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.
Please send your material including your contact details (name and email) and further info about you and your project until

June 30, 2014 to

Stefanie Grünangerl
Schwerpunkt Wissenschaft & Kunst (Universität Salzburg & Mozarteum Salzburg)
Programmbereich Contemporary Arts & Cultural Production
Bergstraße 12, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
We are looking forward to your participation and your exciting material
Elke Zobl, Ricarda Drüeke and Stefanie Grünangerl
(Project team)
If you have any further questions just contact: or 0043 (0)662 8044-2385
Further info: or

Friday, 25 April 2014

elisha lim interview

"Elisha Lim’s work is a part of the Generations of Queer exhibit at Onsite [at] OCAD University. Curated by Lisa Deanne Smith, the exhibition (which also features the work of Robert Flack, John Greyson and Kiley May) is about storytelling and raising a public voice, exactly as you are."

Love that phrase!! All the info and a short interview with Elisha, including tales of being rejected from art schools then making amazing art work anyway (yesss), here:

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Help get 'Passage & Place' to incarcerated queers

Lex Non Scipta writes: "Loves! Rebels! Brilliant creatives! Abolitionists! Annah Anti-Palindrome and I have just launched a campaign to raise money to publish the Passage & Place anthology. Help us carve out a place that turns up the volume on voices of "free world" and incarcerated queers writing on class, borders, identity, privilege, the prison system, memory, and so much more!"

Indigogo link:

PASSAGE & PLACE is a multimedia visual arts exhibition, book project, and skillshare series that explores displacement & movement, freedom & incarceration, and home & im/migration at the intersection of queerness.
For the PASSAGE & PLACE print project we have compiled a collection of written and visual artwork from queer and trans folx both inside and outside of prison, that consider and complicate the topic of "Home".
As part of reaching beyond walls, we partnered with the TGI (Transgender | Gender Variant | Intersex) Justice Project/TGIJP and Black & Pink to send the Passage & Place call for submissions to currently incarcerated LGBTQ prisoners.
The anthology will be released in conjunction with the Passage & Place exhibition at the National Queer Arts Festival, 2014.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Change of title for Shape & Situate zine

Thanks to very useful conversation with artist Meredith Stern, the subtitle of 'Shape & Situate' zine will be changed as of the next issue (#6) to hopefully clarify the scope and meaning of the project.

The zine will now be called, ‘Shape & Situate: Posters of Inspirational Women in Europe’.

This change in terminology has been made to reduce any misunderstandings of the project, or of my former use of the term ‘European’. I wish to distance the project from any connection to the understanding of ‘European’ as an ethnicity or identity. My use of the term ‘European’ has always been a geographical one, but I understand that it may not have been read as that by all who have viewed the project, and I do not wish to perpetuate any misunderstandings that this is a racist project.

My use of the term 'European' in this project comes from an understanding that Europe is made up of extremely multi-cultural societies, and that Europe includes a wide diversity of voices, cultures and ethnicities.

I was not using 'European' as a short hand for white, or using the term 'European' as a way to erase the ethnicity/race of the subjects in the zine.
With this project, the term 'European' has always been used in a geographical sense (without, hopefully succumbing to any forms of Nationalism) rather than ethnicity; celebrating the women that live (or have lived) in this continent surrounding me.

It is not my intention whatsoever to eliminate or silence the voices of women of colour from this project.  Women of colour have been instrumental to feminisms in Europe, and I believe it is important that projects such as Shape & Situate recognize the importance of all women, across all ethnicities, classes, dis/abilities, ages, and beyond.

The term 'European' that I have ascribed to this project has a meaning of 'people who live in Europe', as opposed to 'people from white heritage'.
By writing this post, I am hoping to blatantly clarify this.

The zine has focussed on European women as a way to document women in our locales and communities who are omitted from a lot of mainstream history. With this project Ihe poster-makers have managed to capture posters from various corners of Europe; for example Belgian, Swedish, Romanian, Norweigan women (etc etc) who I have never personally seen documented in social history art projects previously (as often the history of radical women is kept in localised knowledge banks, which I have been lucky enough to tap into with this project (with the help of the poster makers), and illuminated many darkened corners of knowledge on inspirational women from across Europe).
This was the intent behind making the project about European women solely.

I was influenced in many ways by projects such as 'Celebrate Peoples History' and 'Inspired Agitators' (amongst other social history art projects), but wanted to create a version of these projects that meant more to me, as somebody from Europe, who was regularly seeing and hearing more of the important social history from the USA/Canada/The Americas than from my own (geographical) communites and societies whose history I knew was there, yet in many ways has so-far been undiscovered or undocumented in global social history art in many ways.

Women of colour are an important part of this history. I have no intention of creating any ethnic or racial boundaries on this project, just geographical ones (for the reasons noted above).

I'm gutted that after 5 issues of the zine people may have all this time thought that I was creating a zine focussed on white heritage/white ethnicity, when my intentions were anything but;. I'm hoping a change in the title may clarify this.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

zines i'm loving right now


Zine recommendations


Disclaimer – yes, these zines are both created by friends of mine, and so yes, that’s initailly how they came into my hands. However, I’m writing about them here, not just because they’re created by friends, but because reading them has struck such a chord with me & I want to put my (jumbled and quite inarticulate) thoughts about them down on a page in case it may inspire anybody else to pick up a copy (they're both well worth your time!).

They are: 'A Man Called Uncle Tim', and 'Poor Lass #3: Family'

The zines are unrelated, but a big thing that struck me about them both is the strong messages they carry about documenting family as a form of social-history. That our lives and experiences, and those of our families, are a rich source of living history that deserves to be remembered, researched, and documented.

And how what we know about our families, what we are told about our families, and our experiences of family, and the stories that they hold, often do shape and situate us.
These two zines are in turn inquisitive (TMCUT) and exploratory (PL3); seeking to know/understand (TMCUT), and seeking to share/document/situate (within class structures) (PL3).


(N.B. I’m talking non-chosen family here (though the principles could apply to all permutations of family). I also accept and realise that there is a sense of privilege in being able to talk to, connect with, have a relationship with, and know your family, and also in the fact that the zine writers have family to write about in the first place.
I’m also aware that many people activly work hard to not be tied to their past legacies and family traits, violence and mistakes that are transmitted to us through the unspoken & overarching family narratives. History that they don’t want to repeat out loud, or repeat in themselves. As Annah Anti-Palindrome has written, ‘While the patterns we learn [through family] may define us, we are also defined by our processes of unpacking, analyzing and defying those legacies as well. [I] consciously resist participating in the destructive patterns I’ve learned over time.)



On to the zines…





‘The Man Called Uncle Tim’ (volume 1), by Lindsay Draws (2014) (More info here: 
Described by Lindsay as: ‘A series of zines about my uncle who died in 1995 and who I never really knew. In collaboration with members of my family, I try to understand how he lived and loved in a polyamorous queer Quaker intentional community in rural Ohio.
Volume 1: Half comic book; half zine. Features oral history with my Grandma and a brief introduction to Quakerism in the US. 32 pages, two colour (blue and black) riso printed throughout with over 30 original illustrations.
Documenting family history in the way that Lindsay has is *fascinating*. It’s an incredible example of seeking out and documenting our social and political history, as shown in the work she has put in to gathering oral histories from her, and uncle Tim’s, family members in order to know more about the life of her Uncle whose life she had no real/deep knowledge of until after he died.

Oh, and you’ve gotta see this one: the artwork/cartoons/illustrations, the double riso coloured printing, it’s all so well exectued and looks bloody amazing, adding even more to the enlightening, educational, and fascinating stories that Lindsay has captured within the zine.

I’m thrilled that Lindsay is doing this project, and so excited to get to see the second volume of the zine when it’s finished, as damn if I don’t want to know more about Uncle Tim’s story!  (and not from a noseyness point of view – this doesn’t read like a zine full of sensationalised, “juicy” personal info to nosey around and gawp at; I’m genuinley interested in the fascinating stories that are intertwined in the gentle narrative, as told by various members of Lindsay’s family.)

The thing is, as a backstory to the zine, but without revealing too much, the history shared in the zine (and that Lindsay has personally gathered) is about unknown, unspoken of, previously ‘invisible’ narratives that weren’t  freely discussed (for a whole host of legitimate, [and perhaps unlegitimate] reasons) within Lindsay’s close family. Lindsay is documenting life-stories, histories and truths that would have otherwise have gone unknown or undiscussed. There’s a huge power in that, and a great sense of responsibility.

At the same time she’s also letting readers in on the fascinating and inspiring life of Uncle Tim (and in part too, her amazing Grandma Jessie, whose uplifting words form a large part of this first volume. As Lindsay says, ‘Without divulging too much of the content, this is a celebration of my Grandma's spirit and attitude. Unusual for parents of her generation, and frankly even now, she was remarkably at ease with the life my uncle lived.’).

I guess what I’m saying is that a zine like Lindsay’s feels really important, and I want people to pick up a copy not just to soak in the beauty of Lindsay’s art, and to get involved in her discovery of Uncle Tim, but also to think about it in terms of social history, and the potential for documenting our own lives and those connected to us, since nobody else will do it for us.

And also, how, (for those who it’s safe and possible for), seeking out, and  being inquisitive and thoughtful about personal histories can be a great source of empowering a sense of how we are shaped and situated. As somebody without grandparents myself, it’d be ace to see more work/zines/art made by people (where it’s possible) going and speaking to their grandmas, (or even anybody of a generation that has come before us) and hear/see the formative history of family and family circumstances, and discover/analyse the stories we’re told, as well as those that aren't always immediately visible or talked about or known, before it's too late.


'Poor Lass #3. Family’, edited by Em and Seleena (2014) (More info here:!/PoorLassZine/info)


Poor Lass is a collective zine made up of submissions by working class women on certain themes It’s a precious collection of personal narratives.

The need and idea behind the zine was to create a space for working class women to speak their own truths, and have their voices heard. As one of the editors has said to me recently, ‘I think we all just got sick of people painting our picture for us, it's like “nah mate that's not how it is!”’

Issue #3 collects personal thoughts, discussion, stories, and words on Family.

There’s one contribution in this issue of the zine that particularly stuck out for me, that by Seleena.

The discussion and description of her family makeup, her background, and her current interations with her family makes for really interesting, and engaging reading. I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s full of inersecting stories set largely in the North of England that read like an amazing capturing of local, social, and familial history that is important to voice and get captured on a page before it’s lost to the mists of time; or before it’s co-opted and mis-represented by the trend for ‘gritty’ working class mainstream (media) documentation that more often than not miss the point entirely, and end up omitting and silencing people’s truths and realities further.

She captures the everydayness of life and family ties, family history, and special stories. But moreso, for me, the submission stands out as it explores (without perhaps ever setting out to do so, but more incidentally and innately) how she has come to be who she is due to those around (and/or no longer, or less frequently, around) her. It’s about what it is to be here now, knowing what you know, feeling what you feel, doing what you do, and being who you are with a sense of all that has got you to that point (for better or for worse).

I felt really giddy reading about Seleena’s family and how she fits into it all, and her feelings about it all. I’d love her to write a huge solo zine all about her experiences of  family, and the ways that it’s perhaps shaped and situated her brilliant self.



Friday, 28 February 2014

Annah Anti-Palindrome, 'Dangling Modifiers'

‘Help me keep going despite the ache’


‘Recognize where privilege rests inside your bones
Use it to combat oppression
Find your role’


‘Know where you are, know where you've been
You've got strength, allow it in’


Annah Anti-Palindrome, ‘Dangling Modifiers’ (2014)


I put this on when I got in from a particularly wild/manic/frustrating/exhausting day at work and had come home to find Annah’s package patiently waiting for me on my doormat. Putting her CD on calmed and quietened and focussed my mind. But more than that, in the quietness it gave me the space to consider the positivity and empowerment of her delivery and the songs’ messages. With titles like ‘Keep Going’, and ‘Find Your Role’ the album filled my head with possibilities and a sense of consciousness-raised.

Listening to this album made me think about community and the connections I feel to so many incredibly talented, giving, and productive people I know and am indebted to for filling my life with messages and affirmations of positivity and mindfulness, even if to get to those places they themselves have gone through acres of hard-times.

You know sometimes that thing happens when you love something that your friend has made, and then you wonder if you like it because you love and want to support your friend and appreciate what they have gone and done. But then, no, you really hear what they’ve made, and strip away any ties you may have to their work, and it is actually achingly wonderful.

Doing a comparative thing to Annah’s album would do it a disservice, but at times it really does remind me of the magic sadness and hushed poetry of a Mirah album.

Oh, and you’ve gotta know, the physical version of this album is the most beautifully packaged thing. Opening it feels like an act of art and love, bound up and enveloped in recycled and co-operatively made casing, featuring hand-printed artwork designed by a dear friend of ours (Lex Non Scripta), and liner notes that give considered sense and meaning to the sounds you hear: the whole thing is a joy to hold in your hands. Like Annah says in one of her lyrics, ‘Hello thoughtful precision’.

As someone who knows Annah as much as somebody living on the other side of the world can, after meeting briefly in the joyful Californian summer of 2009, it’s so good to re-connect with her and the art that I’m so pleased she’s creating, making and sharing. It makes me feel like there’s so much potential and joyful talent in our communities coming from people who are actively seeking to creatively make things that have positive impacts on the worlds we live in.

‘Dangling Modifiers’ is a work of art in every way possible.



I was lucky enough to ask Annah a few questions:


Where did you make and record the album?

This album has been under construction since 2011. It was recorded in different bedrooms, lofts, attic spaces, squats & back seats all over the US and Canada (Toronto, Vancouver BC, Philly, Oakland, Portland Maine, Portland OR, Seattle, Baltimore, Connecticut, San Francisco, Tennessee, etc.)

You’ve collaborated with a number of artists and musicians on this album. How important is collaboration to you, and is community to your art?

Both are absolutely vital. As artists I believe we have symbiotic relationships to each other. We inspire each other by existing, by creating, by sharing, and by bearing witness to each other’s processes. These cyclical and symbiotic relationships are a driving force for me—experiencing & participating in other people’s art is what sustains me & my own ability to create. My art is filled with the echoes and reverberations of other artist's work- the ways in which they’ve creatively shared themselves with the world.

What does the title, beyond &/or because of it’s definition, mean to you in terms of what you are wishing for this album to convey and communicate?

In a literal way, I’ve been thinking about this concept of the “traditional sentence,” which is supposed to contain a subject and a predicate. The subject of a sentence serves to assign specific context to the rest of what's being communicated. The predicate consists of the verb and all of its modifiers. A dangling modifier, then, refers to the descriptive word associated with an action, in a sentence that is void of a subject. For example, in the sentence, “Annah sang loudly,” Annah is the subject, and “sang loudly” by itself would be a dangling modifier.

In this project I've identified the “dangling modifier” as a symbol of resistance rather than simply a grammatical error. I've found that sometimes predicates are more powerful & all-encompassing when the subject is left blank. The listener or reader can superimpose themselves into the narrative & assign context themselves. In other words, the absence of an autonomous subject in a sentence encourages us to relate to each other through shared, collective experiences. I mean for the “dangling modifier” to complicate the capitalist obsession with individuality & individuation.

With that said, I think this album is very much about the importance of connecting with each other, building, sustaining and honoring our queer/chosen families.

How long have you been making music, and what instruments have you played on this album? I remember you telling my when we last saw each other that you made/reused items as instruments (I’m pretty sure you told me that you made an instrument out of your bike), is that still something you’re enjoying?

I've been making noise forever- and at some point I think it turned into music...or maybe it never did, I don’t know! Using objects that are referential to the theme of a song in order to lay down my initial percussion tracks has become an important component of my work. For example, songs written about my mother are often looped from the sound of me tapping whiskey bottles together (cuz whiskey was her favorite when she was alive). This creates a visual component to the song, which (obviously) isn't legible on recorded CD. In this album I use melodica, piano, xylophone, guitar, some metal pots & pans, sloshing bathwater, asthma attacks, sewing machines, snapping twigs, voice-message clips, crickets, and all sorts of other stuff to make referential sound for each piece.

Malic Amalya has made a wonderful video for your track, ‘Keep Going’. How did you guys end up collaborating? Is it exciting for you to see your work entwined in two mediums?

Yes! Getting to see my work inspire projects in other mediums feels like such a gift! Malic’s film for Keep Going is compiled of still-shots from the yard of my childhood home. This visual gesture creates a narrative for the piece that feels simultaneously attached to my body & out of my grasp at the same time.

We met through mutual friends at a queer-land project in Arcata, California called “Fancyland”. We had creative chemistry right away.

Malic's work is breathtaking in general- check out his other stuff at

This album strikes me as equal parts defiance and compassion. Is that a fair reflection on your emotional association to your creative output?

Yes, I think so. The compassion part is pretty overt I think (?). The defiant components are captured in multiple ways that are probably a little more subversive. For instance, the bits of static & background noise on each track, the absence of a pop-filter, the slight changes in timing that happen in the middle of some songs, the instruments that introduce themselves in the beginnings of a verses and vanish by the end, are all structural decisions I made in order to challenge the rigidity of traditional music-theory norms (which are established and controlled by a very specific class culture).

Could you comment on the politics of your music making? I see and hear an equal mix of personal, and radical subject matter on the album. Is it important to you that your politics are explicit and integral, (alongside the more general political implications of a queer/femme making kickass art and sharing it with the world)?

Whenever I think of art-activisms, I think of this quote by Anne Cvetkovich from her book, An Archive of Feelings. She says,

As a name for experiences of socially situated political violence, Trauma forges overt connections between politics and emotion. And music as a medium, can help return the listener to the pleasures of sensory embodiment that trauma destroys.

I believe that music- and art in general-have the capacity to mobilize people into radical, political action by way of accessing the powerful emotional responses humans have when witnessing or experiencing injustice. While political theory, lectures, texts, etc, can inspire action from the left side of the brain via analytical, logical, critical thinking responses, art and music have the power to access the right side- the emotional/ empathetic/ somatic responses. We live in a society that values left-brain thinking, but when we act using a combination of both our emotional and tactical lenses, I believe mass revolution becomes 1,000 times more possible! I guess in short, this is why I make music.

What other art and projects are you working on at the moment?

For my 30th birthday I asked the artists in my life to create a piece of work (in their medium of choice) that’s been directly inspired by my art (music or otherwise). Since then, I’ve continued to update this forum, Sometimes these kinds of artifacts/reminders about artistic symbiosis are what motivate me to keep creating (and keep breathing in general).

I'm also working on a publication project with Lex Non Scripta ( called PASSAGE & PLACE. It aims to connect conversations of localized displacement and gentrification to more expansive conversations around immigration, imprisonment, community building across intersections, mental health and spirit, and the ways in which queerness interfaces with these.

PASSAGE& PLACE asks its participants and audience to connect their own experience to a broader narrative about the impacts of movement and place-making in physical, liminal, and metaphorical space in three parts: an art exhibition, a panel discussion of participating artists, and a printed anthology of visual and written works. The printed project will incorporate works of art sourced via an open call for contributions, a curated collection of essays, and letters from both free-world artists/writers and queer prisoners

And finally, I'm also part of an independent publishing collective in the bay area called Deviant Type Press. We're in the process of editing our second publication. For more info, see

You’ve played on some crazy-amazing bills and been part of some amazing looking performances over this past year or so. What’s it like to play shows with a lineup or team of people that you respect and love?

Getting to play on mixed-media bills that include artistic mentors and/or members of my broader community might be some of the most intoxicating moments in my life! I feel so honored when I get to participate in collective, temporal events w/ people I respect & care about.

I know you used to (still do?) make zines. How does it feel to now play venues such as zine libraries and zine fests (amongst all the other amazing venues, shows and performance spaces you’ve been at over the past few years)?

At one point in history (namely during early Riot Grrrl/ pre-internet punk era), zine culture and DIY music culture strongly relied on one another for survival. I guess I feel nostalgic for that sometimes.

In some ways I actually think of my albums as “audio zines.” They tell stories and political narratives in similar ways.

The existence of both written and recorded archives that are controlled by the communities they represent, is a vital form of activism. Zines, like independent music projects, are important venues through which we're able to share knowledge, tell our stories, critique the system, and honor our histories without relying on (or risking censorship from) corporate institutions.

Playing in zine libraries or info-shops reminds me of these connections- I love it.

You’re part of a community of people that perpetually get-shit-done, and who dream up and execute some of the most fantastic politically motivated, important projects. What drives that? And what’s it like to live that?

Hmm...what drives this? The belief that being creators of culture is a radical, subversive, important affront to the white-supremacist, capitalist hetero-patriarchy! ;)

Have you hand-stamped the album sleeves yourself?

The album covers are hand-stamped w/ letterpress ink. Lex Non Scripta created this image of me, and I had it made into a rubber stamp at the Berkeley Stamp Company. They are pressed and assembled in my bedroom, usually with a pot of coffee nearby ;)

I guess in the same ways that I am nostalgic for early Riot Grrrl distro & archive tactics, I also feel strongly about keeping a DIY ethic alive. Central to this ethic, is the encouragement of individuals and communities to share skills and resources in order to produce and distribute their art. I'm not against the mass-production of media materials, though. I recognize that sometimes it's necessary. I think it just makes sense for me to still play a role in all the components of my album making since I have the time, space and desire to personalize my work in that way.

I recently saw photos of you and others recently smashing the life out of a piano. Could you give a bit of backstory to that?

It's a secret for a gestating future project! I'll keep you posted, promise! ;)

What’s next, musically?

I don’t know! Eeee! I hope to spend some more time “with the page” in these upcoming years. I’m working on a book called Resisting Palindromes- a publication that I hope will have audio components to it...I'll keep you posted about that too!
See, hear, read more about Annah Anti-Palindrome, and the new album, here:
(Strawberry farm, en route to Santa Cruz, Summer 2009. Photo by Em Ledger)

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Intl postage on etsy (til 27 Feb)

For a short time only (since I have to go to the post office anyways), I've made all zines in my etsy store available to be shipped worldwide.

Have a look, if you fancy.

Issues of 'Colouring Outside The Lines' (a conversations zine, interviewing contemporary female artists), and 'Shape & Situate: Posters of Inspirational European Women' are available.


yorkshire zine weekender

Sheffield Zine Fest 2014 will be held on Saturday 15th March 2014, 11am – 6pm, and we’re back at Electric Works, Sheffield!

It’s an accessible venue and we’ll be running for longer this time to allow everyone even more opportunities to swap and buy zines, attend or deliver workshops.

More info on tabling, travel and workshop sign up here:
Sunday 16th March is Leeds Zine Fair 2014 (11am-6pm, at Wharf Chambers)
A celebration of zines, self publishing, radical politics and DIY culture. There is masses going on with dozens of stalls, and have-a-go letterpress printing.

We'll also be bringing the Footprint gear to make a zine-in-a-day, getting a page each from punters and making it into a collective zine entirely made in the room that afternoon.

Free entry