Metelkova is an area in the centre of Ljubljana that was origin­ally a milit­ary barracks, then was squat­ted in the early 90s when the Yugoslav army pulled out after Slov­e­nia declared inde­pend­ence, and is now full of social centres, work­shops and gig venues. (And a hostel where I stayed overnight before cross­ing the border to Klagen­furt for work).

Craft as radic­al?

I’ve split the article up into four sections- my criti­cisms of radic­al spaces and scenes I’ve known, of the fash­ion industry, and of the current commer­cial craft reviv­al, and then at the end explain­ing the ways I think doing textile crafts can be radic­al. In writ­ing the article, I was specific­ally think­ing of crafts such as sewing and knit­ting, both because they are things I do, and also because they are stereo­typ­ic­ally done by women and often dismissed as silly and frivol­ous, but a lot of the points can apply to any handi­craft. As well as deal­ing with the topic of crafts, it’s really more of a kind of wander round my thoughts about “radic­al”. The section on crafts is actu­ally the shortest, but I’ve used it as the over­all fram­ing device. I’ll prob­ably manage to piss off both the cliquey punx and the craft blog­ger people with this, but never mind.

DIY Space for London is go!

For quite a while now, I’ve been part of the DIY Space for London co-op, work­ing to open a non-profit, co-oper­at­ively run access­ible music, art and gener­al creativ­ity & activ­ism venue in London along the lines of Wharf Cham­bers in Leeds. Oper­at­ing in London has raised its own unique chal­lenges. Most projects of this nature in other places can find a build­ing and have trouble rais­ing the money. We had the oppos­ite prob­lem- we had an incred­ible amount of good­will, and people kept giving us money, but we had trouble spend­ing it. London is in the middle of an uncon­trol­lable prop­erty boom, and we had immense trouble find­ing anywhere suit­able. Places went imme­di­ately, had resid­en­tial neigh­bours or plans to build flats in unsuit­able places that would imme­di­ately result in noise complaints, had legal issues or wanted ridicu­lously huge depos­its.

How to run a zine event

For 3 years I was part of the group that ran the Brighton Zine­fest. We star­ted just with the idea it would be fun to have a zine event in Brighton and managed to build a success­ful and fun event. Sadly we don’t run it any more because some of the origin­al organ­isers live in Brighton any more, the others were too busy, and nobody new appeared to take over, and so it just wasn’t prac­tic­al to hold anoth­er.