Working with local people in Ebbsfleet, Greenhithe, Swanscombe, and Northfleet, artist Lu Williams is creating the Ebbsfleet Citizen Handbook – an alternative guide to the area that will be shared with incoming residents and those that already live in the area.
Between September 2023 to January 2024, local people are invited to join hands-on creative zine workshops, meet fellow residents to think about the nature of home, place and memory, and how these can be captured and preserved in the Handbook.
Guided by Lu, participants will learn about zines – self-published, often handmade, magazine-style publications – and zine-making, and use this accessible and fun format to explore what they feel about their neighbourhood, and what they want from the new city. As well as creating their own mini-zines to take home, parts of these zines will be brought together to feature in the Ebbsfleet Citizen Handbook and be preserved as part of Ebbsfleet Citizen Archive.
Ebbsfleet Citizen Archive is a community-led project capturing and preserving the varied stories and histories of the people and places of Ebbsfleet, Greenhithe, Swanscombe, and Northfleet, inviting local people to work with artists, historians and fellow residents, to explore the area’s unique historic and contemporary identity through objects, sounds, videos and photographs, collected by and from residents past, present and future.
Ebbsfleet Citizen Archive is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England, and supported by Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, Gravesham Libraries, Dartford Museum and Libraries, and Kent Archives.
Lu Williams (b.1993, Essex) is an artist producing sculpture, print, zines, drawing, writing, video, events and workshops through research, community engagement, collecting and collaboration. They make work around the themes of place and memory; community and collaboration; collecting; class and upbringing; accessibility; and platforming and uplifting marginalised voices- through the lens of queerness, neurodivergence and working classness. They are interested in class and taste, queerness, ecology, systems, paraphernalia and the notion of the ‘disposable’; elevating everyday off cuts, often ephemeral and nostalgic, into the valued but functional ‘art object’.
In 2015 they created Grrrl Zine Fair, a place for self-publishing and DIY art, music and culture surrounding feminist publishing. In 2017 the Grrrl Zine Library was born and hosted 600+ queer feminist zines, housed at The Old Waterworks. In 2020 they co-founded Dog Ear, dog toy sculptures and accompanying publications produced by artists, with artist Emma Edmondson. Williams is currently based in Leigh-on-sea, working from The Old Waterworks artist studios, Southend-on-sea and is on the Southend Community Investment Board and will be joining the Creative Estuary Board in September 2023.