To celebrate the 70th Anniversary, Essex Cultural Diversity Project, Basildon Council and the Foundation for Essex Arts have partnered with local artist Lu Williams, who will be hosting zine workshops across Basildon, working collectively with artists and the public through writing, collage and drawing. Each workshop will focus on recalling participants' memories of the new town, culture, society, architecture, public sculptures across Basildon, as well as their own personal experiences, journeys and daily life.
Zines are an incredibly good way of documenting facts, stories and 'feeling'. They can hold conversations, encourage collaboration, build and celebrate community, and emanate a personal warmth and a tactileness that a medium such as blogging often lacks.
As part of her commission, Lu will host multiple Zine workshops with a diverse range of Basildon residents, to artistically activate participants through writing, collage and drawing. Each workshop will focus on recalling participants' memories of the new town: they'll talk about culture, society, new town architecture and public sculptures across Basildon, as well as their own personal experiences and journeys.
Throughout the project, pages will be created for a collaborative Zine, creating new community connections and a physical legacy of the place we live, work and retire.
"I'm delighted to work with ECDP and Basildon Council on creating new, community driven public artworks to be displayed across the town. Through a series of zine making workshops I'll be collecting stories and highlighting Basildon as place of experimentation, diversity and resilience. Zine making is an authentic way of representing culture and documenting the voices of those who's stories have been forgotten. In an age of social media and fake news, people deserve authentic public art that represents and reflects them. I'm excited to get started!" Lu Williams
We really want to encourage residents of all ages and backgrounds to take part in this exciting opportunity to contribute in the creation of a physical legacy of the place we live, work and retire.
Zine workshops are free to attend and suitable for all ages and abilities, just turn up with your old photos of Basildon and some creativity! Upcoming workshops as follows:
Wednesday 26 June 1:00 - 2:00pm at Laindon Activity Centre
Friday 28 June 11:00am - 4:00pm at Eastgate Shopping Centre
Sunday 28 July 11:00am - 4:00pm at Eastgate Shopping Centre
If you would like to request a Zine Workshop for your group/organisation, we will welcome all requests by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The intersections between Lu's identities as a queer, working class woman, Essex born and bred, have greatly informed the artist's work and socially orientated practice. She is the founder of Grrrl Zine Fair!, which comprises live events, zine workshops, the Grrrl In Print collective zine and a 300 publication strong feminist zine library which tours the UK. Grrrl Zine Fair! is a platform for women and trans and non-binary artists, which places diversity and accessibility at the forefront of her artistic practice.