We will discuss this idea in more depth at the next Friday Surgery on September 25th. Please interact here on the blog in the meantime , comment with your thoughts and ideas.
Dear Barefoot Doctors,
Post the Summer School and last week’s meeting, which some of you attended, we’re looking for initial submissions and pitches for our dynamic new arts magazine ahead of the planned funding meeting ( But whatever happens, we WILL get published). At the moment, prior to any official meetings on the commissioning/funding side, a monthly model looks the most sustainable and in terms of timescale, it’s probable we’d have a trial run produced by sometime in October. Beyond that, what’s been exciting us in early consultations has been the potential to recapture/transfer the spirit of those energetic and imaginative publishing projects from the late 70’s up to the early 90’s in terms of materials (the texture and cut of the paper/ink), individual designs and layouts. Born out of free spaces for free-space communities, the mixture of iconoclasm and discovered values unifying very disparate individuals, rooted in geographies previously associated with heavy industries, found in Manchester and Leeds fanzines is our inspiration as much as modern arts and commentary mags like Glasgow’s The Drouth or the London/Nats. What follows are some guidance notes to help you germinate ideas: --- Specifically we’re looking for art, and copy about art; direct ‘pieces’, and offers to collaborate on exploratory interview or features connected with areas of artistic interest. Whether photo-essays, comic strips, or pieces on how representation and theory in modern theory exist with an assumed community art, or punk-free form language expressionist riffs, the object of our publication is to showcase and stimulate alike; to support and shake-up with a high-wire liberty. Don’t feel that it has to be anything revolutionary form-wise, although we’d encourage you to put forward content you’re passionate about; if its motivated by wanting to express something definite, any piece will work much better for you and the reader alike. Pitches so far from individuals in the group for the first issue have included a ‘Friends of Ken’ cartoon(!), a kaleidoscopic narratory meditation on North Staffordshire’s changing music scene, a photo -analytique of stories and connotations created by performance dance, and a look at‘themes for imaginary films’ in Stoke’s landscape-- doubling as a kind of essay based imperative to start creating a culture of film-making in the area. Our (so-far untitled—we’ve got ideas but totally encourage your suggestions at this stage) publication will also encompass lyric-writing, poetry, short-stories and embryonic script writing both as ends in themselves and as a forum to encourage the evolution of words into sound and shadowy scenes into digi-celluoid montages. Your range of subjects is practically unlimited, although editorial considerations may in some cases come into play later regarding length and small content adaptations; this is dependent on the range of pieces we receive, any common threads connecting them and scale. It’s important to remember that both from our perspective and yours, the magazine is about encouraging (and in some cases revivifying) a culture of art in North Staffordshire. Your art-pictorial or verbal-- can arrive from and deal with anywhere, lands and scents to cubist mathematic lines; in the case of reviews and critical articles, either the subject or the critical perspective would ideally reflect some physical or psychic aspect of North Staffs. This shouldn’t be seen as a limitation or indeed an absolute, but rather a focus for your thoughts and one which is-- semantically and institutionally--- flexible. In other words when, say, discussing an art-show based elsewhere, ponder what might be contingent to an experience in such and such setting in terms of what and why decisions were made -- and how your passive and active art experiences locally might be equally contingent. But it goes where and as far as you can make it—we’re looking for your own thoughts, whether strategy suggestions or just associative words and pictures, to guide us in assembling the first magazine. One idea which has been mooted is a first edition guerrilla distribution campaign focused on 25/50 unique covers appropriate to the same number of sites, or fewer but more intricate one-off covers focused around the energies within and around the magazine and its bid to co-revolutionize the area as a hive of thought, high art and pop smart, classic and rock’n’roll...plus dub-bhangra-speed symphony fusions—metaphorically. Tell us your thoughts and start sharing the secret. Best of luck Martin
Please add any ideas and thoughts, contributions, offers of help to develop this idea to the Barefoot Doctors blog (here) - www.barefootdoctors.blogspot.com