Review: Chapess Zine

The Chapess: Issue #8

Beginning with our introduction that is The Dissent of Doing, we are welcomed to a pro-active, bulshy and poignant statement of disillusioned and disappointed tones.  It embraces the failures of our current society and issues circulating young students and graduates, especially those working within the creative industry. Straight away you can tell the target audience for this zine.

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Getting right into it, the expression and voices being shared in this collection of work, is why I am in love with this zine and am currently working on my own prose in the hope I can submit to them.

This issue slaps us bang in the middle of some concerns we were facing a couple of years ago, when the Tories were first voted in.  Many of  these concerns are dateless and I think, still very prevalent to topics in our political climate and some of the fears and problems that we feel are still going unacknowledged and unchallenged with solution.

The Zine’s Key Conversation Starters

1.       Idea gov is ensuring the young and disadvantaged remain in their place

2.       They are removing opportunities – rise in uni fees, removing access to sixth forms

3.       Zero Hour contracts 

4.       Hatred for the creative arts, and restricting access to these courses

As I say, I am sure many readers can find at less one point to relate to in anger; though I reckon for the majority more than just one of these points will hit home as something you have had to contend with in the past five years.

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 Much of this issue is dealing with the fourth point that has being raised, that the creative arts in mainstream education have been frowned upon, judged, and often blasphemed. Those studying or wishing to pursue a career that falls within the humanity and creative subject area will often face criticism of studying nothing, of studying something that will lead them nowhere and so is entirely pointless.

Many are concerned that the amount of money put into teaching and encouraging these subjects is a waste, as they apparently do not contribute back to our society and the growth of our country.

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I am telling you now, so you understand where my review and tone of this remaining post is going, that I think this is baloney. I am not an economically minded person so I shall reserve from commenting on the money contributions and elements to this argument.

However, I will say that the arts and humanities subjects offer much in the history, learning and progression of our society. The creative arts feed our culture and informs us as a collective and as individual’s awareness of issues affecting humanity on a personal, political and ethical level.

The arts inform us. It is another way that we communicate with one another, it is another way we monitor, learn and prevent problems humans face in their ideological communities. If this is not a contribution to society, then I do not know what is.

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 Pulling quote from this introduction SJ Bradley writes that they think the government are afraid of the arts. Why? He asks.

“Because artists (and I use artist as a catch-all word) show people what the joy of life can be. The arts transport us around the world: they show us people, other places, other ways of being. The arts make us ask questions. And there’s nothing this government is more frightened of than a public who think, and asks questions.’

The disparaged undertone of this zine and this issue, commemorates the fight, the strength and the beauty of the works this zine collects from young creatives all over the world, who have a lot to say about the things that are brilliant about our society, and have the will to want to change those things, that are not so quaint, or ok about them.

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In this issue (number 8) I fell in love with Tracy Struck’s poem Summer 2010 and the nimble agility of the language she has penned to page. Claire Askew’s Stage Fright was an amazing and immersive read and all of it is complemented by carefully placed and powerful imagery that gives you the sense of exactly what the creators of this zine are going for and are wanting to communicate to us the readers.

Containing poetry, short stories, a variety of other prose and a variety of aesthetic mediums including art, photography and graphic design The Chapess Zine is well worth a further look and research into and I would recommend at the very least getting yourself a copy of one of their issues that are available to buy online.

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