projectVOX by lucy jefferies


Tell the story of our time and add the pages to projectVOX, a zine by and for the people of Camden exploring POWER, EQUALITY, HISTORY and PLACE. 

As part of Camden VOX, Quiet Down There calls Camden’s communities to tell their story and leave their mark on the pages of a zine revealing what it means to live in a democracy in 2018.

A zine is a printed pamphlet or booklet like a magazine containing text and images, usually self-published for short-run distribution by one person or a small group. At the heart of zine-making is the power to communicate personal ideas, thoughts and feelings instantaneously and the freedom to share this information with others through duplication. Cutting, pasting and photocopying are common methods for zine generation.

A zine is a tool for exchanging ideas and a platform for disseminating information. Camden is home to an important archive of the feminist zine, Spare Rib which was an active part of the emerging Women’s Liberation Movement in the late 20th century. The archive is currently held at the British Library in the Borough of Camden. Spare Rib ran between 1972-93 alongside a shifting landscape for women’s equality, which saw The Equal Pay Act and Sex Discrimination Act, come into effect (1975) and employment rights to maternity leave (1994). The zine played an active part in challenging roles and representation of women, proliferating ideas and questioning cultural and structural inequalities. 

Inspired by the DIY culture of zine-making, which has its roots in counter-culture under-ground press, activism, punk and fandom, projectVOX will platform the multiple voices that make up the diverse borough of Camden.

What does power look, sound, feel like? Who has power? What is your power?

Taking its lead from the zine-making culture, projectVOX seeks to amplify lesser-heard voices and cause an echo through the borough.  The project invites you to explode the concept of the zine and add your voice to its pages by responding to questions around the four key themes of Camden VOX: POWER, EQUALITY, HISTORY and PLACE. Questions will be announced at key moments throughout the Camden VOX programme and a call to action to contribute to the pages of the zines.

Take part in free zine-making workshops for all ages with visual communicator Amy Mock and meet projectVOX writer in residence Adam Webb.

During zine-making workshops there’ll be an opportunity to create your own 8-page zine booklet in response to key VOX questions. Using collage, cut and paste techniques you can create your own unique zine to take away, photocopy and leave for someone else to find.

Writer and poet, Adam Webb will be taking up residency in the borough’s civic spaces, libraries and on the street to capture encounters with the people of Camden. Adam will be building a body of text, crowd-sourced from his conversations with people around VOX topics. Through encounters by bookshelves, bus-stops and tube stations, Adam will weave the language of the people of Camden into the pages of four distinct zines which will be published over the course of the year. Highlights from zine-making workshops and open submissions from community groups and initiatives in Camden will also feature in the zine, each one guest edited by a different artist, writer and researcher engaged in debate on equality and democracy. 

The zine will be available to pick up in libraries across Camden and viewed online.

Stay tuned for workshop announcements and projectVOX updates by following:




Project Paisley Q&A with lead artist Saj Fareed by lucy jefferies

With Project Paisley now in full swing and workshops taking place across Camden in libraries and community settings, we caught up with lead artists for the project, Saj Fareed. In this Q&A we find out about Saj’s practice, her approach to delivering workshops and the significance of Paisley for Camden communities.

Read More

Capturing the story of Paisley in Camden by lucy jefferies

Hattie from the Project Paisley team tells us about her role in supporting the project and capturing the diverse stories shared in connection with the much loved Paisley print. Project Paisley is part of Camden Kala, Camden's annual arts programme, this year celebrating the UK/ India year of culture. Camden Kala highlights India's heritage both within Camden and beyond. 


Read More

Presenting Project Paisley: Celebrating the pattern of people and place by lucy jefferies

To celebrate the rich cultural exchange between India and the UK, we are launching Project Paisley as part of Camden Kalã Camden's annual arts programme. Project Paisley invites communities and visitors of all ages take part in designing a unique Paisley pattern for Camden.

Over the summer we will be exploring this universal pattern and its ability to conjure memories of people and places. In keeping with Camden’s vibrant counterculture roots and reputation as a place where fashion, culture and music collide, Project Paisley will explore individual expression, freedom and non-conformity through pattern, shape and colour. Design your own pattern and connect with others through Project Paisley.

You don’t have to look too far to spot the Paisley design. A much-loved decorative staple in wardrobes and homes all over the world, Paisley is a distinctive design of intricate patterns featuring droplet shaped motifs. With its Persian and Indian origins, the pattern has travelled far and wide through the ages. The design has influenced the fabric of our lives not only through our clothes and our homes but our values and our contemporary cultural too. Crossing cultures and ages, Paisley is the only pattern that sits comfortably in your grandma’s wardrobe and at the same time makes a statement in the bandana of a punk rocker.

The pattern spans different religions and faiths and for many, the motif represents the seed of life, growth and eternity whilst for others it is a symbol of freedom, mysticism and counterculture. In the 1960s musical icons such as The Beatles began visiting India, sharing its music, culture and philosophy. Paisley became widely adopted by musicians and artists as a symbol for rebellion and progress. It became a statement of non-conformity and has been linked with encouraging a spirit of multi-culturalism in the UK, representing solidarity across faiths and cultures.

Much like the sprawling Borough of Camden, Paisley is a pattern that meanders and takes you on a journey in different directions. The pattern of our lives give shape to our memories. We make our mark through the lines we travel, the twists and turns we take and small flourishes made. As part of Project Paisley textile artist, Saj Fareed, will design a Paisley pattern for Camden inspired by the diverse designs, stories and journeys shared through Project Paisley workshops.

Explore what Paisley means to you, share your memories of this unique pattern and learn how to make beautiful designs with a variety of materials from drawing and collage to printing and stamping. Free workshops open to all ages will take place in Camden throughout July and August with the final Project Paisley design going on show at Swiss Cottage Library in September.

We will be announcing dates of our workshops soon – check back here for more info!

Spot the Paisley all around you! Maybe it’s a droplet design in a garden gate or an elaborate design in the lady’s scarf sitting in front of you on the bus. Get snapping and share your everyday Paisley photos on social media using the hashtag #ProjectPaisley and #CamdenKala