BOOKS AND ZINES

Langdon Olgar

Langdon Olgar is a print journal published by Hollaback London (co-run by myself and Julia Gray) that takes the body in public space as a starting point. With it, we aim to put the issue of street harassment in context with text and visuals on a variety of related issues.

LO2 includes visual and written work on the subject of gender, sexism and the body in public space.  This issue takes a smaller yet thicker appearance, sitting somewhere between zine, journal and artist’s book in form. It includes work from interested parties across the gender spectrum – Tavi Gevinson, Jen Calleja, Barbara Hammer, Jes Skolnik, Judy Berman, R.M Phoenix and many others, as well as art and writing from the editors themselves, and design and layout by Jamie Reid. It is staple-bound, full colour, and was professionally risograph printed by our friends at Ditto Press.

LO1 (Published 2010) includes words, art and photography from the likes of Rosie Day, Julia Gray, Jane Shumard, Dearbhaile Kitt, Billie Miranda Muraben, Olivia Singer, Owen Richards, and Grace Banks (plus many more.) White stapled in a hand-numbered first edition of one hundred copies.

Intro to Lo2:

 

Two years on from our first issue, we are still watching.

We’re watching, eyes narrowed, as Alternative Youth Media happily paints itself as the creative, subversive foil to The Mainstream, foolishly grasping the easy money of major corporations disguised as youth brands, while holding a mirror to the same forms of ubiquitous, banter-powered rape culture one might pick up in any newsagent. We pounced on the possibility of another kind of feminist publication, taken beyond those fanzine assumptions, too easy to write off as a de-fanged corner of galling retroisms, aging references and aesthetic cliche. That said, you’ll notice the many references to feminisms of times past in this issue, as we outright reject the notion of an ahistorical resurgence. They say those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, but we must pore over these histories, the achievements of yesterday’s agigators, artists and thinkers, before we build upon them. The demands may remain constant with our fore-sisters to some extent, but we’re at pains to move forwards, not sideways.

Ordinary women across Britain are being hit by what the Fawcett Society have termed ‘Triple Jeopardy.’ Disproportionately hit by wage freezes and job cuts in the public sector; most likely to be the frontline users of public services from libraries to sure start centres and other community facilities; and because of their traditional role as carers, are often the first called upon to step in as state help is withdrawn.

Langdon Olgar Issue Two takes flight against a backdrop of these swingeing cuts, enacted by cabinet of 19 men and 4 women, with a combined personal wealth of £70 million. The worst is undoubtedly yet to come and it’s certain they’d rather you dancing at a shoe-brand sponsored warehouse party or scrolling sleepy blogs of neutered art, indeed doing anything else as long as you’re not listening, not reading and certainly not organising.

By collecting these contrasting perspectives from right across the gender spectrum and seeking new ways out of aesthetic irrelevance, we hope to challenge both cultural cul-de-sacs above, and give to you a momentary break from that dull, low drone of misogyny echoing through the city. Can’t you hear it?

Bryony Beynon
Brixton, 2012

 

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