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 currently work as Lecturer in Digital Information and Curatorial Practice at Manchester Metropolitan University. My teaching background is cross-disciplinary – I have taught Information Studies, Popular Music, Media Studies at undergraduate and postgraduate level for universities including UCL, University of Dundee and Leeds Conservatoire. I have been invited to speak at the Royal College of Arts, Central St Martins, University of York, University of Oslo, University of Surrey, the Open College of Arts and other higher education organisations. I have recently finished a PhD in the Department of Information Studies at University College London. My PhD research explored methods for documenting and archiving current UK-based DIY music spaces.
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 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.