Manchester, May 2013
Following feedback from 2012's Victoria Baths Fanzine Convention, the third self-publishing festival to take place at Victoria Baths expanded to offer a broader take on DIY culture that included references to DIY music production; events included two screenings of Manchester-based filmmaking and anthropology collective Castles Built in Sand's 2012 music documentary Helpyourself Manchester, followed by question and answer sessions. There was also an exhibition of original gig fliers featured in the film in the gala pool. Manchester musician, illustrator and zine-maker David Carden was invited to take visitors on a 'musical tour' of Victoria Baths, and explored aspects of the building's history through song, from famous Channel swimmer Sunny Lowry and dirty, recycled swimming pool water to couples meeting at the Baths, inspired by memories donated to the Victoria Baths archive. Artists' collective Pool Arts helped visitors make a collaborative edition of the Baths' own zine 'the Vicky', based on the idea of a campaign to bring back public baths. Karren Ablaze! read from her recent book The City is Ablaze, about making fanzines in Manchester and Leeds in the 1980s and 1990s, Manchester author David Hartley read from his latest book, and John Mather talked about the motivation behind his self-published Pictorial Guide to Greater Manchester's Public Swimming Pools and the region's history of producing swimming champions.
Image: David Carden's musical tour of Victoria Baths, Natalie Bradbury