“The way we see it, don’t complain about what other people are doing; do it yourself and do it how you want to do it.” (Hi-Vis Press: Low Light Magazine 2)
We are lucky to know so many warm creative people who we can call friends. Makers of all things that make for the joy of it. This feels important: where is the urge coming from, and why? Sure, we all want to be happy with what we’ve made, and that reach for happy is a common bond here. And then the sharing of it. We all have stories. About our lives, about what we’ve seen, felt. We have friends that make songs, poems, photographs, paintings, pottery, zines, books, and life. Things made from where they’re at.
Jim Gibson, Sophie Pitchford, Ben Williams run a indie diy publishing venture called Hi-Vis Press. From that they publish books and a zine called Low Light. In it are working class makers telling stories through words and photography. It feels void of ego. Like everything the Hi-Vis guys put together. To launch it they put a gig together at the Chameleon Cafe in Nottingham, a shindig of like-minded makers doing what they do. And it was great. A night of creative, happy sharing.
Since Hi-Vis started this thing, the reach is stretching out. Makers from all over the place coming together for these shindigs. Thi Wurd (a diy press from Scotland) and Tangerine Press (a diy press from down south) underlining the sense of community between underground makers. This is no competition. This is ordinary people involved in an extraordinary revolt of warm open-handed making. Because, who is going to tell the stories of working class people other than the very people themselves? Turn around and look behind you, right now and way way back. How are the stories of ordinary lives carried forward, kept alive, relevant? It’s that woman stood in a folk club singing a song about the toil of a child in a mine from two hundred years ago. It's that fella stood in a pub speaking a poem about his struggle with mental health and paying the bills. It’s the stories that the oxbridge gatekeepers will turn away from because they’re not relevant to them or anything they’ve ever touched so who is going to tell that story? Answer: you. And you should. And here is where the people like Hi-Vis Press make a difference, creating community and like for like among a myriad of makings and makers, a shared happy, a celebration of working class voice: your voice.
For a little taste of what happens at the Hi-Vis happenings, have a look at the video below.