We talked to Lu Williams Editor extraordinaire of GRRRL ZINE about everything zine.
Illustration Tales of Black Eyed Jack
Tell us how Grrrl Zine fair came about?
Grrrl started when a group of my pals wanted a better resource for zines, a place to pull a community together, and I thought it was right to bring musicians in, too – considering the riot grrrl link to fanzines and punk. I was putting on club nights at uni and edited Cuntry Living zine, so it was a combination of events and publishing. Each event is a collaboration between myself and friends and artists.
Do you see Grrrl Zine changing the landscape of zine culture?
I hope so! I think the combination of zines and bands and workshops contributes to a better atmosphere and to creating a community. It veers away from stuffy fairs where the focus is on selling. Zines are obviously sold, but it's also a kind of celebration, a party, where people can learn new skills, too, and meet like-minded people.
How would you define sassiness?
Not taking shit from the patriarchy. Using femininity as a source of power.
Any sassy stories to tell?
You always have to give a bit of sass working in music as a woman. You gotta do your best to not be a pushover. The sassiest I get is when people ask for work for free; as a freelance, some people really take the piss, and you've gotta just give them sass, because if you work for free, you're damaging the rest of the industry.
Do you think there is a duality between sassiness and gender?
I think sometimes sassiness can be used as another word for bossy – a social construct to ridicule a woman standing up for herself. My friend did say to me that he thought a certain male artist was very cool, and I was like, ‘That’s just because he's femme’. Femininity is often viewed as cool if you're not a woman, which is kinda ridiculous, so can sassiness.
What can we expect from the next Grrrl Zine fair?
I worked on my arts council application for a good three months and won council funding – so this next fair is going to be amazing. I have the funds to put on something really special, get in some really cool artists, and amp the production up. Expect a fully immersive tent, stage, zine library, sculpture garden, print exhibition, and workshops – everything from art therapy to a female fight club.