By Ciéra Cree
Shortly after returning home on the 29th of March, I came up with an idea to create a zine.
At first, I reached out for submissions on the ARU Together Facebook group without thinking too much about it. The intention was to gauge the interest of students who would like to see their poetry, photographs, and artwork, published in a small, one-time community zine, and then to proceed to gather the content.
A few months later, I launched the #ARUnity hashtag asking students and staff members to share their memorable moments from university this year. And while I thought that these would both prove to be positive initiatives, the idea of incorporating the hashtag into the zine fell into place shortly thereafter.
“This year at ARU, I loved The Ruskin Journal and the Creative Writing Society’s Open Mic Night. It was so lovely to see everyone come together and we all had so much fun! #ARUnity”Gabs Bennington (2019/20 Treasurer – The Ruskin Journal)
You may have seen the #ARUnity hashtag floating around on the Journal’s social media, or you may have messaged me a moment yourself – many of you did! I’ve included some examples at the end of this post.
The ARU Unity Zine contains a wide assortment of creative pieces from a variety of talented people, as well as all of the hashtag moments from the #ARUnity campaign. From poetry and photography to paintings and more, the zine features little bursts of thought-provoking material that I feel privileged to have chosen for this project.
I have never made a zine before, I am not a graphic designer, and due to the pandemic, I had limited resources. It was tricky at times, and I don’t recommend that you use Google Docs for things like this, but in a way, the difficulties I encountered made doing this feel all the more rewarding to me.
One of my favourite parts about this project, aside from seeing everything come together, was the fact that it wasn’t just students from ARU that got involved. Among its many contributors we have friends, friends-of-friends, people from other universities including Fine Art student Loti Armstrong from London’s Central Saint Martins, and even writers living in other countries such as Anushka Dey from India, and Tiago Ramos from Portugal! I am proud to have done my bit to further encapsulate the theme of unity in this way.
So here it is, the ARU Unity Zine! Thanks to everybody who took part and I hope that those who pick it up will enjoy it too.
Download the zine here.