Photo Credit: Phoebe Wingrove
Photo Credit: Phoebe Wingrove

Lighthouse x Aghh! Zine

For our Open Sessions #14 - Class in the Arts, we wanted to try something different to document the session alongside our usual photography and audio recording & transcription.

We were determined to create a dynamic and engaging experience for our audience that would ignite stimulating conversations and capture their unique perspectives and emotions throughout the session. We wanted to extend the dialogue far beyond the walls of the event space, so that the exchange could reach a wider audience and leave a lasting impact.

So we joined forces with the talented duo MNamug and Nuria Castro to create something a bit special. We armed our audience with pens, paper and post-its and encouraged them to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas. Our collaboration takes the form of a digital zine, carefully curated and compiled to document the evening, and continue the conversation as a must-read resource - 26 pages of information, inspiration and hope for the future.

But… who are Aghh! Zine?

“Aghh! Zine is a zine created in the heart of Brighton and Hove, by MNamug and Nuria Castro. Our Aims are to create a safe space to discuss and investigate ourselves, society and subjects that are considered taboo or not mainstream.”

Tell us more!

“With Aghh! Zine, we created a space where we could feel free, represented and heard. The theme for our first issue was about “Celebrating Body Hair.” We were intentional with wanting to celebrate this topic, which often has negative connotations and memories and experiences. We asked for submissions only from people who had been historically negatively impacted by this beauty standard, therefore, we only accepted submissions from people who identify as women or non-binary. At the moment we are working on producing Issue 02 which explores the theme of “Blood” from a broad range of perspectives.”

Outside of Aghh! Zine, what’s your practice?

MNamug (she/her)

I’m a Brighton based writer, poet, radio host, artist and photographer. My interests are in social justice, amplifying marginalised voices and inspiring others. I work in a range of media that include paints, collages and photography. The way in which words and images can be fused has led me to zines. My work questions identity, existing structural inequalities, and aims to generate dialogue through the arts.”

Nuria Castro (she/her)

“I’m a Galician photographer currently based in Brighton. With the help of colour, movement and using different formats I capture emotions that I find difficult to express with words. Mostly, my photography practice is focused on building trust and creating an intimate atmosphere with the people that I portray, so they can feel free to be themselves. Since I moved away from home, a need to explore topics like home, family and the feeling of belonging is really present in my work.”

How did you find documenting the Open Sessions event?

“It was a great experience to participate in the event already having the zine in mind. We have a passion for creating art and absolutely love the zine form. During the event, we took notes, made a few sketches and were already thinking about how the digital zine would look on the page. We also really listened and took in the event's atmosphere, which was full of a beautifully diverse and engaged audience.

It was really important for the audience (and panellists) to share their thoughts and questions in their own handwriting, and a lot of them did, which resulted in not only getting a broader perspective of the event but has also made the process of creating the zine a more fun, interactive and physical process (bearing in mind it was going to be a digital zine).

Being able to be present on the night of the event helped us understand and get the essence of it all, something we don’t get to do with Aghh! Zine as everyone sends their submissions and we put them together afterwards. The panellists and performances really energised us with their words and music. We left feeling optimistic and armed with resources and knowledge and a huge sense of collective power. We hope that this comes across in the finished digital zine.”

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

“One of the key takeaways that stuck with us the most was the question: IS ART FOR EVERYONE? This became the front cover of the zine, as it encapsulates the conversation that took place that evening.

So: IS ART FOR EVERYONE? It is when a diverse range of people from all walks of life are given opportunities, such as the one given to us by Lighthouse. Not only have they commissioned us to document this event, but we have also been able to get exposure and make new lasting networks. We would love to see more organisations like Lighthouse use zines to document their events, as it is an inventive way to provide opportunities to creatives.

We are pleased to have had the opportunity to use zines in different ways and purposes than we’ve previously done.“

Photo credit: Phoebe Wingrove

Where can we find out more and follow your work?

You can Sign up to our newsletter, and check out our socials and Etsy shop with the links below:

Our Linktree

Our Instagram @aghhzine

Our Twitter @aghhzine

Our TikTok @aghhzine

Our Facebook @aghhzine
Our shop on ETSY

Our Individual socials:

Nuria Castro @nuriacastro_photo (Instagram)

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/nuriacastro_photo

MNamug @mnamug (Instagram)

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/mnamug

Download a plain text copy of the zine here.

If you would like to download a full PDF copy of the zine please email lucie@lighthouse.org.uk

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