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!