Week Three – Surfaces and Strategies: Strategies of Sharing

Week three proved a funny one for me. The task this week was to form groups and produce a zine. Once the group had been formed it was time to call out for others to respond to the topic photographically, and once images had been uploaded/sent to edit the selection for inclusion in the zine.

I say it was a funny one for me as usually I enjoy team work but I knew this week I wouldn’t be able to spare much time, and that made me feel as though I wouldn’t be able to help too much.

Member of my group live in the UK, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, India, and Italy. An international crew but to overcome time differences we chose to chat via WhatsApp. A pretty easysolution but also meant that you may join in a conversation at the point where a few hundred comments had been posted. We did however go with a fab suggestion relating to tea – I believe our ‘leader’ Mandisa (although I think she will graciously say it was a joint effort) came up with this. It was as follows:

Our lives are rushed, with many expectations, there’s always something to be sad or angry about… take a break and join our tea movement. #tohellwithtea is a pro tea movement featuring photos of humans drinking a cup of tea that is in a teacup (yes, we’re precise and proper tea drinkers) in unusual places: next to your garbage, in your shower (with clothes on please, spare usthe bits and bobs), on the train/tube/tram, on a bus, in a cinema/movie theatre or library, at work while your coffee drinking colleagues look on in shame at their poor drink choice, in your prison cell (we hope you will turn your life around, and yes you still need a teacup) – take a photo of your unusual tea drinking experience (be creative, innovative) and do tag us.

Connect with us on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/tohellwithteazinemagazine/

There was also a Facebook page and Twitter page.

tea1Much effort was made by team members to raise the project profile and encourage participation, including some paid-for posts on Facebook.

To minimise any potential design issues relating to putting the zine together, we chose InDesign as a means to create the work. This made the aesthetic perhaps more slick than some people image zines to be (they are often handmade, stapled etc.) but the group aims to keep the project going. We used Sharepoint to collate all our uploads to help Mandisa pull together the 5×5 end product.

You can see it here: TEAZINEFINAL

Looking back, for me, regardless of my lack of time, I know that I’m at a stage where I want to work alone. I often run workshops working with others through ShutterPod so I feel my desire for collaboration is regularly met. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy it or want to continue to do it in future, it’s just at this point of my MA I very much want to focus on my own work as it’s something I feel I haven’t done for some time. I also recognise that I tend to prefer to lead projects and don’t feel comfortable not being able to fully participate but none-the-less it was an interesting sideline, and hats off to everyone else in the group for creating a fantastic zine.