I guess for me personally, D.I.Y. is about rejecting a top-down model of culture, where (to use a crude simplification) corporate forces dictate what we watch, listen to, engage with. That can be really bland, homogenous and uninteresting, and certain voices are invariably marginalized. D.I.Y. is about producing your own culture, without the need for middle-people or corporate indicators of success; it’s about engaging directly with people as friends. Within that is an implicit emphasis on inclusivity, safe spaces and rejecting bad shit in general. D.I.Y. is a critique of the corporate culture industry, akin to anti-consumerist critiques of capitalism.
– Nathan, Martha band
I can’t quite remember how it came to be that I was a person who couldn’t make things, who couldn’t draw or take photos or be artistic. But there was surely a point when that became a truth; when I became a Person Who Cannot Make Things. When I was wee, I used to draw, I used to build wooden ramps, make trials courses from farmyard parephenalia and bricks and planks. I used to make patches and sew them on my clothes. When I moved to the city, I found people around me who could make things, beautiful drawings, carved wood bowls, they could paint and photograph and learn to be blacksmiths. Maybe it was at that point that I became a Person Who Cannot Make Things. Maybe that was fear, or embarassment, or just not feeling good enough.
So it’s a new thing now, to scrape at the old punk ethos that saved me just when I needed it too when I was wee, that told me that I was ok, and good, even.
I’m making things again.
I’m not so good at it just yet. But I know (finally) that that doesn’t matter really. Some of my favourite bands seem like they can barely play their instruments.
So I jump up and down, I literally scream with excitement, I do a kind of shiver of apprehension and then have to giggle to just get all of the things out of me, just to MAKE SURE I DON’T EXPLODE AT THE THRILL OF IT ALL!
And I don’t feel hopeless anymore. I don’t feel like only other people can make things, that somehow I’m not that kinda person. I don’t feel so listless and lost anymore. And I’m gonna be able to stand up again, gonna be able to howl at the sky.
I can make things.