Imminent: a Zine on Emergency and Connectedness

“I wanted to start the zine because I needed the outlet for myself, to try to connect with other people through my own rage and hope. I found that many others needed this too.”

Jo Dacombe‘s IMMINENT explores the experience we’re on the edge of: climate emergency, nature connectedness, working together, grief, loss, determination, optimism.

“You hold in your hand the texture of a tree. This is real. Hold it carefully.

Trees and writing are bound together through their etymology. The beech gave us the word for book. Some say this is because the beechwood was originally used as tablets for the inscription of runes by the Nordic peoples, that early form of writing which seemed to carry magic in its lines. To people that had never encountered writing, lines marked in bark that hold meaning must have seemed a strange power.”

Jo Dacombe is a multimedia artist creating work, installations and interventions, interested in mapping, walking, public space, sense of place, layers of history and the power of objects.

My opening lines to IMMINENT Issue 1 expressed why I did not want to make this thing online. There is something about holding the publication in one’s hand which I felt was important, because the tangible and material world is what the work is all about.

For many years my work has been about how we, as humans, relate to the natural world and the landscapes within which we find ourselves. My concerns over climate change and the effects that our society have on the environment have grown with my understanding of it. I had used my art to open discussions about some of these issues, I had spoken about it at conferences, run workshops and written numerous letters to politicians as well as supermarkets. I supported environmental charities, I planted my garden with pollinator plants and I tried to live well with less impact. But still I felt the huge task ahead and felt a deep tension, a frustration that bubbled inside me as it does in so many people, to express something somehow, to make some contribution. As an artist, writer and creator, what should I be doing?

I should write, create and make art, of course. And so I began creating IMMINENT. I wrote to artists and writers that I knew. I asked them if, like me, they felt moved to want to speak to people through words and images about the state of the world we find ourselves in, to please consider contributing. I was amazed by the response and generosity of the work that flooded in.

I wanted to start the zine because I needed the outlet for myself, to try to connect with other people through my own rage and hope. I found that many others needed this too. Both issues so far, by chance, have been produced under lockdown conditions: the first was ready for publication in March, but had to be delayed until June; the second was published in November. The sense of connection, at times when we all had to stay in our homes, was even more important and the exchange of ideas that has come about in making IMMINENT has been a lifeline for me.

In putting together both issues, I have found that loose themes emerge from the collection of contributions. This inspired my own writing, and I try to draw together the threads throughout each issue through my own words and images. The first issue introduced the reason for the publication to be a physical thing, to reconnect us with the material world at a time when much of our connection is increasingly virtual. The second issue is blue, and the poetry and images had blueness running through them; ideas of water, snow and ice, that most important element reacting to world temperatures, both essential for life but also deadly as it transforms our landscapes.

IMMINENT is about the experience that we are on the edge of. IMMINENT themes are about the climate emergency, nature connectedness, how we work together in collaborative, un-capitalist ways, how we can re-use things, what our future holds, about grief and loss, and about determination and optimism. It will both celebrate our world and rage against environmental injustice. Sometimes it will just breathe and sing.

Imminent is a 12 page, A5 zine
 costing just £2 + p&p and is available direct from Jo Dacombe online.

Issue 1 (June 2020) includes contributions from Linzi Bright, Jim Caruth, Jo Dacombe, Mark Goodwin, Mary Hayes and Andy Postlethwaite. 

Issue 2 (November 2020) includes contributions from Jim Caruth, Jo Dacombe, Peter Dent, Helen Goodwin, Mary Hayes, Rupert M Loydell, Penelope Shuttle, Mita Solanky, Deborah Tyler-Bennett.