‘Oxford is My Home’ is a zine produced by Oxford Poetry Library and Open House which uses words and pictures to tell the hidden stories of housing and homelessness in Oxford and what it means to call this city ‘home’.
So far two issues have been printed, both through all-day zine-making sessions at Open House. Open House was a public living room and talking shop on Little Clarendon St which was open throughout 2019 as a place for anyone to gather, make friends, share stories, and find out more about housing and homelessness in Oxford.
On 27 April 2019, people from across the Oxfordshire community came together at Open House to create a zine in just a single day. The event was run in the spirit of Open House: offering a space and platform to have new conversations about housing and homelessness in Oxford, where labels are dropped and equality of voice is paramount. There was no hierarchical operation, and contributors simply used the materials they were surrounded by to engage with the subject. Content was produced collaboratively, through group writing exercises, shared artwork, and by using individual’s content to inspire or to be physically reworked by others in the room.
Everything collected on the day has now been published: without author, without titles, without edit. The result is eclectic, straight-forward and very personal, showcasing the rich and diverse notions of ‘home’ from a broad demographic. You’ll find poetry, art, stories, both real and fictional, as well as ideas, opinions and solutions to the challenges of housing in Oxford.
In October 2019 we collaborated with Open House Oxford in their last month of opening to put together the second issue of our amazing Oxford is my Home zine. We wanted to capture and give voice to the diverse experiences of finding, building and maybe even losing a home in Oxford.
Over the space of one day, we opened up the doors of Open House and invited anyone – whether new to the city, born-and-bred, or anywhere in between – to come and share their stories of making this city their home through poetry, collage, story-telling, art, rants and raves. We then collected them all together, bound them into a little booklet, and we are now ready to share the wonderful, weird, heart-breaking, insightful, creative, and thought-provoking result with you all!