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Lighting a Fire of Thoughts and Ideas:
Ideas is Matches

An interview with Clodagh

by Elke Zobl

March 2002

In Ideas is Matches #3 Clodagh not only reviews other zines (mostly from Dublin and the UK) but also shares her travel experience through Europe and recommends places she enjoyed. Read here more about her and her "hot" zine!

Can you tell me first a little bit about yourself? How old are you, where are you originally from and where do you reside now?
Sure. My name is Clodagh. I am almost 25, I was born and reared in Dublin, Ireland and apart from a few weeks or months in different places around the world (nothing substantial) this is where I've lived all my life. I love Dublin, I know a lot of people here, and it's a good spot.

What do you do besides your zine?
Lots of stuff. Hmmm. Right now I am keeping very busy, it's great. I work full time, in an office, I am learning by trial and error how to teach reading and writing skills to adults who have had little formal education in their lives. I am quite active in the underground music scene and put on gigs weekly in club GZ with some others. I'm also in a band called easpa measa, I sing. My social scene is mostly attending gigs; I also like to watch films, read, hang out and drink beer and coffee!

For how long have you been running your zine?
Issue one of ideas is matches came out in the summer of 98 (four years)

How many issues did you put out until now?
Just 3 I'm afraid, but another one on the way!

Are you the only editor or is there a team?
It's just myself. Ideas is matches is my own vehicle for personal expression, I don't think I would feel comfortable if it was a team effort, or co-edited.

What made you decide to start this project?
I can't remember exactly, I think I probably had some stuff on my chest, or information I wanted to share, and putting it in writing was the best way I knew of communicating with the masses.

How did you come up with the idea and the name?
I was inspired by all the other zines I had read over the years, the name is stolen from an illustration in a red monkey 7", a picture of a wee monkey lighting the fuse of a bomb with the caption "ideas is matches", for me it is a positive title: reflecting the content of my zine. I like the notion that my ideas and thoughts can start a fire!


What topics are most often discussed in your zine?
Whatever is getting on my tits at that particular time, or whatever is floating my boat, past topics include; thoughts of my involvement in the scene, food, menstruation politics, relationships, travel, work, feminism(s), various moral dilemmas.

What do you hope to accomplish by establishing your zine?
Self-expression mostly, put my voice, my point of view in the public domain. Zines are an amazing opportunity to participate and have a say in what is going on in "the scene". if I'm lucky spark thought and make a few friends.

What does zine making (and reading) mean to you?
Zines are the most important thing in punk to me. It's my art-from, I think I'd have gone mad if I didn't have it. Reading them is a way for me to learn what's going on in the scene and in the work through a pure media form.

What do you love about zine making?
Ummmm… everything… I suppose the feeling of completion when you've photocopied a load of them and are at home stapling them together.

What's the most challenging aspect of making zines?
Most challenging thing is, like anything, making a start, and believing it's good enough, layout is also a challenge, in the past I've gotten a lot of help from my friend, Stephen.

What was your first exposure to zines?
Freesheets such as gearhead nation and react in record shops around the city which I encountered first c. 1994

How did you find out about them?
Well, they were sitting on the shelves of record shops, or at gigs. I sent away for zines mentioned in reviews and it went on from there.

What have they come to mean to you?
They've come to mean everything - education, inspiration, motivation

Do you think zines can effect meaningful social and political change?
Probably. Dissemination of ideas, theories, advice can effect social and political change.

What does the zine community mean to you?
I don't really feel like part of a zine community, I mean I know my zines are out there and people get something out of it, I've got some nice feedback and some positive reviews but i'' not in ongoing communication with any zine ladies, really. I think your website is a good start from communication --i'' lazy though… what can I say…

What advice would you give others who want to start a zine?
Just fukking go for it! Write from your heart, don't try and fake a style. Make it as legible as possible, I like arial font. Check for spelling errors! Starting the the most difficult part. Put something out there and then build on the effort. Send copies to big international zines for review.

What are some of the zines you admire?
Reason to Believe (UK), Jakes Wrath (Cork, Ireland); Scrawl (Belfast, Ireland); Synthesis (UK). Personality liberation Front (Australia)

collage from ideas is matches #3

Could you please describe a little bit the grrrl zine community in you country?
In Ireland, there are two girls who have put out a zine in the last year, that I know of. She (Liadain) is an amazing writer and I look forward to reading more of her stuff when she finishes school. [I am the other girl]

Do you define yourself as a feminist?
Yes. Isn't every woman?

What are the most pressing issues you are confronted with in daily life (as a woman/feminist)?
I try not to take shit from people who treat me different or badly just because I'm female. I have to say that although there are a few exceptions, most of the "scene" guys are respectful and treat women as equals.
Recently there was a referendum on abortion in this country. It's ridiculous, there is a demand for abortion, but the government refuse to acknowledge this, yet 19 women travel abroad for abortions EVERY DAY. Reproduction issues really get my goat these days. In Ireland sex education is a joke, a lot of women don't understand how their bodies work, condoms are ridiculously expensive and abortion unavailable.

Are you active in the feminist movement?
What feminist movement? I just do my own thing and try not to be judgemental and hate oher women, sometimes I feel I've been socialised to do this.

What do you think about feminism today?
I don't really know anything about feminsim today, as far as I'm concerned it should be a practical movement, ya just get on with what ou want to do and communicate.

Do you see yourself as part of "third Wave feminism" and what does it mean to you?
That term doesn't mean anything to me. Sorry.

Which role plays the Internet for you?
I use to it communicate with friend, band and zine contacts, and to keep informed about activities in my city.
I don't think we sites compare to having a zine arrive in the post, and reading it at your leisure on the bus, with a cup of coffee in the sun or in bed.

Does it change your ideas of making zines?
No.. not really..


Do you have any suggestions? Something you want to add?
My next zine is going to be full of interviews/chats with movers and shakers in Dublin. I'd love if you could distro my zine in our scene.
Thanks for asking my opinon.

57 Woodview,
Co. Dublin, Ireland