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VP Talk - Sofia Niazi

OOMK stands for One Of My Kind, and is a collaborative publication led by Sofia Niazi, Rose Nordin and Heiba Lamara. It's published twice a year and explores themes around creativity, faith, activism and education, focusing on women. 

Rabbits Road Press
Rabbits Road Press is a riso printing press in East London. It runs workshops to teach people the riso process, and aims to provide a free, open, creative space. 

DIY Cultures
Based in East London again, DIY Cultures is an annual festival exploring art and activism. It consists of a zine fair, exhibitions, workshops etc, all exploring the ideas of DIY practice and alternative publishing. 

I thought that Sofia's talk was interesting. She spoke a lot about self-initiated projects and the dilemma of working for free vs getting paid. It was useful to hear about her experience. She said that working for free can be ok, but it is important to consider whether the other people are getting paid or not. 

Her experience of self publishing and zine making was slightly surprising. She said that after making zines, she would go into shops (making sure that they already sell zines or have a self published section) and ask if they would sell her work. I was surprised at this I can't imagine going into a book shop and asking. I guess, if you don't ask you don't get! 

This talk was really useful for our current project. I have chosen the brief working with Sofia and the South London Gallery, illustrating stories provided by children of Oliver Goldsmiths Primary School. It was particularly useful to hear about Rabbits Road Press, and I plan to look into the riso induction workshops they run.