the new typical girls zine features generations of radical creative women
Times are tough, but together we are tougher. TG’s new issue features creative community leaders from different generations, including Spare Rib’s Sue O’Sullivan, Women Who founder Otegha Uwagba, Art Hoe Collective's Gabrielle Richardson, and editor...
Chani, Jamila and Celiya of
Brighton-based self-publishing dream team Jamila Prowse, Chani Wisdom and Celiya Koster are back with a blockbuster third edition of Typical Girls zine. As Jamila told i-D last year, the zine was launched in 2015 with the aim of "creating positive representations of women in the media," and their awesome second issue featured interviews with The Slits guitarist Viv Albertine, Liv Little of gal-dem, and activist-artist Glacier Girl.
Hot off the press, the new Generations Issue features even more inspiring creative women, from contemporaries including Art Hoe Collective founder Gabrielle Richardson, and editor, creative consultant and erstwhile i-D team member Lynette Nylander, as well as radical publishing legend Sue O'Sullivan of Spare Rib, Otegha Uwagba, founder of creative community Women Who, and Kate Tempest, who is currently guest director of Brighton Festival.
i-D spoke with editor Jamila Prowse to find out more about the theme and to get a preview of the best photography and quotes from the brand new issue...
Where did the generations theme come from, and what did you want to explore?
The concept of cross-generational influence has always fascinated me. I was raised in a really creative household (my mother is an artist), and I grew up being dragged round exhibitions at every given chance. Being surrounded by visual culture inevitably seeped in. Whereas when I was younger I really resisted my creative urges, by the time I got to university I ended up taking a BA in Art History. Even though in my own work I come from a different angle, which is based in the critical side as opposed to making, I think it's impossible to escape the generational influences we are exposed to.
Today's society is changing at such a rapid pace, but I think there is a real sense of generational identity that comes along with that. Having an incredible community of activists, artists and writers who utilise online platforms to incite change is such a recent phenomenon, but one that inevitably increases accessibility and engages greater numbers of young people. Yet, the URL world can feel so overwhelming at times, and with the confusion of the political climate surrounding us it can be really easy to become disillusioned.
The thing that gives me hope is observing how different generations have coped with societal changes. By finding the issues which are cross-generational, and affected our parents' generations as much as our own, we can then begin to assess where things aren't moving forward. In order to really make a difference we need to work towards finding what unifies different generations, instead of what divides them. By combining the tactics of today's internet generation with the grassroots activism of our predecessors, we can really begin to instil hope in the future.
What can we expect to see in Issue Three?
At the core of Issue Three is the increasing presence of creative collectives. Our cover girl is Gabrielle Richardson, a curator of the Art Hoe Collective, which is an online platform established to represent the work of PoC. Otegha Uwagba, founder of Women Who, a network launched for creative working women, also joins us. We look to Gabrielle and Otegha as examples of how women are making use of their skills and resources in order to support other creatives around them.
We also take a look back at the history of radical publishing, with articles from Gunilla Karlson and Sue O'Sullivan, both of whom were part of the DIY generation. It was such a joy to be able to reflect on where the roots of our publication stem from, with women who laid the foundations upon which TG is built. Next to them, we have writer, editor and creative consultant Lynette Nylander, the former Deputy Editor of i-D, who reflected on her time at the magazine. It's great to be able to trace how the world of publishing is always evolving, but at its core many of the same values still exist. The idea of how we represent ourselves and the culture around us unites independent magazines from Spare Rib, all the way to i-D, and even TG.
A real highlight for me is our interview with Hollie Cook. In issue two we interviewed Viv Albertine, of The Slits. Our zine name is taken from The Slits' song and, for me, they really embody the no-bullshit ethos that TG is grounded in. Hollie's first experience of touring was with the second generation of The Slits. At the age of 19, Hollie was taken under the wing of the band. She cites Ari Up as a key influence in her own approach, so it was such a pleasure to be able to reflect on how Hollie's initial experiences with The Slits shaped her later career.
If you had to boil the new issue down into a few favourite quotes, what would they be?
"I feel it is my duty, without question, to write articles that shed light on the people, communities, races, colours and creeds who are not getting enough coverage and whose voices aren't being heard. If that is my only impact as an editor then that would be enough for me." -- Lynette Nylander, writer, editor and creative consultant
"Being a black person in America is all about creating your own space and creating your own survival." -- Gabrielle Richardson, curator of Art Hoe Collective
"When we feel powerless, art is the only way to make things happen. By putting our hopes into art certain realities can come true." -- Nina Miranda, musician
"It can be said that every choice I make as a black person is seen as a statement, not discussing or considering social issues within my work would be living in oblivion to current events." -- Joy Miessi, illustrator
"The sketchbook is such a magical thing. The pages close and seal your drawing like a secret, so it doesn't matter if it is not perfect." -- Joey Yu, illustrator
Where can we buy Typical Girls zine, and what's next?
As always, the most joyous part of creating TG is getting to be a part of so many wonderful events after publishing. The zine community is often spoken about as this wonderful, inclusive space. It might sound as if I'm constantly gushing about it, but it really is incredible how there is no sense of competition. Everyone really supports the work each other do, and it makes the whole process worthwhile.
We've spent the last couple of weeks at DIY Cultures and Offprint. It's been such a humbling experience being able to meet other publishers, and speak to readers about the issue. My favourite conversations are ones that I have with parents who are looking for a publication for their children. Knowing that the magazine could end up in the hands of teenagers who are akin to our younger selves is such a wonderful thought.
On 14 June we'll be holding a launch party at the Nines in Peckham, with a whole host of performances. The event will be free and will act as a chance for us to celebrate all the people who have contributed in some way to this issue. Then we have the London Radical Book Fair on 24 June, a stall at Village Green in Southend with Grrl Zine Fair on 8 July, and we'll be giving a talk at this year's Wilderness Festival.
Order Typical Girls Issue Three online here.
Text Charlotte Gush
Photography courtesy Typical Girls