Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A PowerPoint about the Shrieking Violet (Unit X lecture)

I spent the weekend doing battle with the Open Office version of PowerPoint in order to create a presentation to go alongside an hour-long guest lecture I was invited to do for Unit X students at Manchester Metropolitan University this morning (making a PowerPoint was an unbelievably slow process, probably because of the size/amount of photos I used). The students are working on a project to create zines, mainly in groups, and organise a zine fair. I decided to try and sum up the Shrieking Violet in pictures rather than in text, so my PowerPoint includes lots of screenshots from various issues over the years, as well as photos of zines which have inspired me, mainly about cities, both before I started making the Shrieking Violet and on an ongoing basis. While I was taking photos of my dad's early '80s collection of punk/goth/indie zines to include, I came across a couple of letters which were written to my dad (Simon), obviously in response to letters he had sent to editors of zines he enjoyed offering words of praise. Both letters, from the Cramps zine Rockin' Bones, and Scottish zine Deadbeat, are on letter-headed paper, so I included them in the presentation both as a curiosity and perhaps as something to aspire to; maybe one day the Shrieking Violet will have its own letter-headed paper!

The presentation also attempts to show the number and range of contributors to the Shrieking Violet to date (circa 100); some key themes and content areas; collaborations; production; design (including examples of bad design in the early days of the Shrieking Violet, when I thought all text had to be justified and in boxes, and I had a habit of putting images behind the text, rendering it almost illegible, along with some examples of better design, mainly done by other people!); illustrations and photography; the process of photocopying and folding print copies; print and online distribution; the Shrieking Violet contributions in zine libraries; publicity such as interviews; and events such as the Victoria Baths Fanzine Convention.

The presentation I made is a really, really big file, and the image quality is not good now it has been compressed to PDF, however it can be read online below. I have vowed that next time I have to make a presentation I am going to try and use Prezi instead!

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