LEISURE: GIRLS GET BUSY, HOW DO YOU DO? interview
We’re really impressed by Girls Get Busy and we asked them if they could contribute some content to our daily features page.
Girls Get Busy, like Leisure, was conceived in east London, the same as so many other creative endeavours have been in the past. This particular area supports a wealth of talent, and the history of initiatives coming to fruition means the tempo and pace of its young inhabitants is a high one with new ventures coming from all angles. With everyone in the same boat, the mood that stands out isn’t one of competitiveness, but one of support. Everyone shares and collaborates for the greater good. Sounds a bit hippy-like, I know. But, it isn’t. It really isn’t. The area isn’t a cheap, run-down haven for artists anymore, nor is it a place for the rich, thoughtless drifters either. It’s a perfect medium of costing just enough to keep everyone on their toes, whilst still being full of potential and support.
Whilst a lot of what goes on around here is loud and laddy, Girls Get Busy just keep working away, producing zines and putting on events and promoting female artists, writers and musicians. They also cobble together a mean DJ set, playing at several Leisure parties of late – nights where we rely heavily on pulling everyone around here together to party all under one roof. Well, we also want to pull some of these people under our digital roof too, feeling we can all benefit from collectives like Girls Get Busy, seeing what it is that inspires them! So, to introduce them to you, we spoke to Beth Siveyer… the curator of Girls Get Busy:
Leisure: Who or what is a Girl Getting Busy and what’s the main focus of your work?
Girls Get Busy: Girls Get Busy is a feminist collective supporting female artists, writers and musicians, so the main focus of work that I feature in the zine is self-expression and anti-establishment. I like to think I’ve created a platform for girls who maybe don’t have great self esteem because they feel alienated from society. Girls like me.
Last year me and Camille Benett hosted GGB zine parties, but this year we’re concentrating on daytime workshops at The Shacklewell. We’ve just had our first one, which was a zine making session. We plan on having all kinds of workshops from bike repairs to skateboarding. It’d be really cool to have some sort of girls rock school where we teach each other how to play instruments, write songs and build self-steem. We’re also looking for people to host their own workshops.
L: I see the word ‘feminist’ in your manifesto… how and when did feminism become a major influence on you?
GGB: Mum has actually been a huge influence on my life (wether I like it or not) and from a young age I understood that women were treated differently in society. I probably didn’t even realise I was a feminist, like it just seemed so obvious to me. I was introduced to Riot Grrrl when I was about 13, and I just totally idolised Kathleen Hanna.
I’ve been working at Sh Womenstore, which is a female sexshop for 3 years now and I suppose my feminist tendencies attracted me to that. Sh is the first sexshop in the UK that’s run for women by women – so females can feel safe, comfortable and get friendly advice. Even though it’s more common for women to have sex toys now, masturbation and sexuality is still a taboo for some. So I guess I always have and always will be a feminist.
L: Do you like boys?
GGB: Yes! This is the number one thing that bothers me. For me, being a feminist isn’t about hating men. I know GGB is a collective for creative females, but that is purely just about creating a support network and platform for girls who maybe don’t have great self esteem because they feel alienated from society.
I’m actually working on a series of male feminist zines titled ‘The Book of Hims’ to emphasis the fact that men can be feminists and also suffer from sexism etc. I would really like to work on a feminist project that has an equal amount of genders, including trans.
L: You live and work in east London… has the area shaped any of your desire to promote creativity, especially by other girls?
GGB: There’s such a good DIY support network in East London, it’s really cool how many independent galleries and bars there are. So it’s actually quite easy to organise an exhibition or zine launch party. It’s pretty exciting how many creative people there are who have the same DIY punk ethic and just wanna help each other out. It gives the area a real buzz.
L: What will GGB bring to Leisure?
GGB: I’m hoping to prove that feminism isn’t something to be scared of and how important it should be to everybody. There’s a lot of bullshitty connotations and I’m trying to knock down those stereotypes. I’m also hoping to bring more of an insight into the work of creative women.
L: Who would win in fight between the drummer from Le Tigre and a sexist?
GGB: Le Tigre, duh!
Logo and posters by Camille Benett
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