Hello! I am Kirsty Fife – a DIY cultural organiser, zine maker, academic, musician and archivist based in Leeds, Yorkshire. I currently do a bunch of different things, and this page summarises them briefly.
I am currently completing my PhD study in the Department of Information Studies at University College London. My PhD research explores methods for documenting and archiving current UK-based DIY music spaces. During my PhD I have also taught across disciplines in higher education, including teaching Archives and Records Management at UCL and University of Dundee, and Popular Music at Leeds Conservatoire. In September 2021 I will be starting a post as Lecturer in Digital Information and Curation at Manchester Metropolitan University.
I have a background in DIY cultural production and organising. My projects include Adventures in Academia, Make It Work, Move Under Yr Own Power and Hard Femme zines – publications which cover intersections between fat, gender, class, sexuality, work and DIY cultures. Until 2016 I also ran Fatty Unbound – a skinflint fat positive fashion blog – which has been featured on platforms including the BBC, The Times and Bitch magazine. I organise Weirdo Zine Fest, a regular zine fair platforming writing and art made by people from marginalised backgrounds. I make shambolic music with friends, including the bands Actual Crimes and Cat Apostrophe. I regularly speak and run workshops about zines, organising, fat activism, femme identity and class politics.
I am also a qualified archivist with experience of working with cultural, media-based and community-led heritage collections. My ten years in the archive sector to date include roles working for audio-visual archives, museums, and organisational archive services. I’m not currently practising right now but am happy to provide freelance advice on a sliding scale (and very affordable) basis for radical and community groups.