Ahead of Swansea’s first ever Zine Fest on Saturday 19th May 2018, held at Volcano Theatre, I caught up with the organisers of Swansea Zine Fest – Cath Elms, Morgan Clark and Kirsty Rowles. I first asked them what the story is behind Swansea Zine Fest. Morgan and Kirsty came up with the idea first of all and talked about possibly putting on a Zine Fest, and Cath later came in as a “more organised friend.” Organising such an event has taken just over a year for Cath, Morgan and Kirsty.
Cath explains that a Zine is a “small, self-published, DIY booklet or pamphlet, normally made by either one person or a small group of individuals. A Zine can be on any topic that you like – literally anything you can think of. They’re usually photocopied and distributed for free, or very cheaply.”
What can people expect from the Zine Fest? Cath explains that on the day, there will be around 29 stalls from Zine makers, small press, crafts, comics and self-publishing and they’ll be selling a range of things like Zines, comics and handmade items. There will also be a Zine reading session in the afternoon. There will be lots of exciting activities going on throughout the day.
The Zine fest is going to be an accessible and inclusive event – they are especially encouraging readings throughout the afternoon from women, people of colour and those from the LGBT+ community. When I asked more about this, Morgan emphasised that the Zine fest is intended to be a “non-judgemental safe space for people to be able to share their stories.” Kirsty also speaks openly about growing up as a gay woman and talks about the Zine fest being a place where “they feel that what they have to say is important.” It’s about representation.
Listen to the full interview with Cath, Morgan and Kirsty below, and find out more about the event here.