Saturday, 22 October 2016

Salvage Collective zine

I've written and made art about the misogyny and abuse that is rife on the left a couple of times before, like here (4th image down) and here. I've experienced gendered abuse directly and seen it happen to people I love. Most of the time fighting against it in isolation leads to burn out or disengaging entirely from the activist world. 

So I was incredibly excited when the Salvage Collective put out a call for interviews from survivors of gendered violence in activist communities for their research project. I was also super flattered that they used an image from my mini-zine in their callout and immediately offered to provide any more artwork they needed for the project. They asked me to design and illustrate the cover of their amazing report.

The images I created are based on the hope represented when spaces and structures that have been neglected are reclaimed. With nature, this is an inevitable process. Unfortunately with people, it is a battle where those who are fighting against neglect and violence encounter an absolute shit ton of opposition and further abuse. People are pretty invested in not conceding their power, unlike abandoned buildings.

If you are under the illusion that this doesn't happen amongst people who claim to care about liberation and social justice, then you really need to read this zine. It's 70 pages of mostly first hand accounts from survivors - and that's edited down from hundreds of pages of interviews. Not only does gendered violence happen with depressing frequency on the left but the responses from people who should be setting an example when it does is most often piss poor. We need pockets of resistance to demonstrate that it's possible to do better; human examples of nature winning back space from an ever expanding and destructive industrial capitalism.

This project - and this zine - is part of the process of redressing that imbalance. It is ongoing, hard work, often done by the very same people who are directly affected by gendered violence. It's time for more people to step up and support those who are working to salvage what's been ignored and left to rot.

Buy the zine in my shop or from the Salvage Collective for a mere £2 - an absolute bargain. Keep up to date with what @Project_Salvage are doing, attend one of their workshops or support them to deliver workshops where you are.

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