power up


 power up

collage with found magazine page, letsaset and paper

January 2017


‘If we women walk in synergy’: visual notes from activist women in Bradford


Some visual notes made from  ‘International Activism‘ an event I attended recently in Bradford, the first public event hosted by the new Speakers’ Corner Collective ‘a social space co-run by women and young girls from Bradford and it’s surrounding areas’.

The event featured  four women who all spoke incredibly powerfully and eloquently about their activist activities: Sasha Bhat from Kashmir Solidarity MovementSamayya Afzal who spoke about the recent Bradford Vigil for Aleppo with the Syrian Association of Yorkshire , Jane Gregory from Bradford Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Kongosi Mussanzi from Bradford Congo Campaign.  Samayya Afzal commented afterwards that ‘the solidarity between everyone and the causes was amazing’. It really was.

I’m looking for ways to both reflect on, and document the words I hear from people who are trying to make change in a very difficult world. Rather than leave the words I wrote down from these inspiring women in my notebook, where only I see them, I have made them into a collage in a sketchbook,  and am sharing them in the hope they inspire others as much as they did me, and help in a small way to help build the solidarity we need to in these incredibly challenging times.

Call for contributions: International Womens Day Zine

Jean McEwan, collage on paper, 2014

Jean McEwan, collage on paper, 2014

I got really inspired today after reading about some of the amazing ways people are marking and celebrating International Womens Day (tomorrow, Sunday 8th March) from following the #IWD hashtag on Twitter. It occurred to me while I was reading these at work this afternoon that I should also do something to celebrate the day.
As I am an obsessive zinemaker, a zine seems the obvious choice, and being the serial collaborator I am, and always liking to play with other people, I thought it would be really good to invite other people to make it with me.
So this is me, asking you if you would like to contribute a page to a collective zine celebrating International Womens Day. I really like the idea of a bunch of people making a zine together on the same day but in different places.
It can be anything in response to IWD – words,images, or a combination of both. Contributions can be serious, funny, personal, political, whatever feels right to you. I’ll probably do a collage but you can do whatever you want. All humans are welcome to contribute. Everyone who contributes will receive a free copy of the zine. The zine will be in A5 portrait size, and photocopied in black in white, so the only rules are that your contributions fits onto one A5 sheet of paper and that you are happy that it will be in black and white. You cam make your contribution, whatever it is, by hand or via computer, and can either send it via email, to me at Jeanmariemcewan@gmail.com, or if you prefer, post it to me at 63 Nelson Street, Cross Roads, Keighley BD22 9EA.
Get your contributions to me by Friday 13th March, and I will put the zine together the following week. Let me know your address when you are sending me your contribution.
Thanks, and happy IWD everyone!

Wur at Oastler Market in Bradford – a residency and collaboration

7th – 18th July 2014

collage table


‘Wur’ in Scots means two things: ‘we are’ and  ‘our’

What is the relationship between’ I’ and ‘we’?
Can creativity connect and empower us?

I’m interested (among other things) in ideas of identity,  community and exchange. From 7th – 18th July I will be resident at Oastler Market in Bradford, inviting market users to collaborate with me to explore these questions through creative play and conversation, in a collaborative period of research.

Wur will attempt to be an active laboratory for collective enquiry – a  common space for all to explore and share creativity, knowledge and experiences. Everything done there will be collectively owned by all who take part.
Over a fortnight I’ll  host a wide range of creative and social activities in  Wur space, including exploring stories and memories with personal and family photographs through collage and assemblage, making self-published zines, gift actions and conversations.

This is an open invitation to join me in  Wur space.  Drop in for as long or short a time as you like, each week day between 11am and 3pm; or if you have an idea for an activity or conversation you’d like to do or try out, get in touch with me at  Jeanmariemcewan@gmail.com.  Activities will change each day, and a diverse group of people coming in to play and contribute. All are welcome.

A zine documenting these activities will be produced and circulated freely to market users following the residency.

The idea for this residency grew out of ‘Wur blog’ ) a collective multi-author blog about gift, exchange and generosity which I set up in 2012.

To find out more about the ideas behind the project and to follow the residency as it develops, visit the the microblog at http://wuratoastlermarket.wordpress.com/

Grateful thanks to Bradford Metropolitan Council and Bradford Markets for supporting the project.