Librarians-in-Residence: Public Programming


Shen Jing, Zhongwei (Mabu) Li, Weida Wang, Matthew Worley

Asymmetry, 102a Albion Drive, London E8 4LY
3-5PM, 18.05.2024

'Copy Machine: DIY Culture, Zine Making, and the Underground Music Scene' presents a panel discussion as part of the Librarians-in-Resdience programme series 'Get Low, Like Bumpkin Cannon', where we delve into a comparative study of punk and DIY zine cultures in 1970-80s Britain and contemporary China leading up to the post-internet age. This event celebrates the spirit of low fidelity and grassroots innovation, emphasising the use of low-cost technology in creative subcultures as an aesthetic category underpinned by the striving for authenticity and anti-authoritarianism.

Our panel features guests including Shen Jing, a musician in both Chinese and British underground scene; Mabu, a media researcher on production and circulation of music in China; Weida Wang, a researcher on the music industry; and Matthew Worley, a historian of British youth, punk and zines culture. Together, they will discuss the significant impact of fanzine culture and DIY practices within punk communities, the influences of open-source culture, and the narratives surrounding the propagation of punk music between the Sinophone and Anglophone worlds. Join us to gain a deeper understanding of how DIY ethos is shaping contemporary cultural expressions and fostering global connections.



Shen Jing (a.k.a Shenggy Shen) has been deeply immersed in Beijing’s music scene since 1998, participating in its explosive development in recent years. Until 2006, she was the drummer in Beijing punk legends Hang On The Box, and since 2003, her work has increasingly demonstrated her own unique form of cosmic industrial noise. Along with Shou Wang, Shen formed the Beijing-based experimental industrial duo White, contributing with analog synths and percussions. Since 2007, she has been living in London and continuing her music career as a producer and drummer. Her current project is Elephant House with electronic artist Christos Fanaras.

Zhongwei (Mabu) Li is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Leeds working on the ERC-funded MUSICSTREAM project. Before joining MUSICSTREAM, he worked as an LSE Fellow in Media and Communications. Having previously focused on music, subcultures, and the informal ways of cultural consumption and circulation in 1990s China, Mabu’s current research explores ruptures and continuities between the contemporary moment of music streaming and music cultures of the past thirty years afforded by different media formats – from physical recording media to downloadable digital files – and their respective ecosystems. His work with MUSICSTREAM aims to contextualise this set of changes within broader social, political, and economic transformations on the Chinese path to global capitalist modernity. Outside of academia, Mabu has also been involved in music scenes both in China and in the UK, working with various projects and organizations to bring China’s emerging artists to a wider international stage.

Weida Wang is a scholar in music culture and music industry studies, and a lecturer at Point Blank Music School. Holding a PhD in music from Royal Holloway, University of London, Wang specialises in music industry and sound studies. Currently, he is working on his first monograph concerning the Western classical music industry in post-socialist China. Additionally, Wang's research interests encompass sound effects in audio/visual art within the Sinophone context. He actively participates in projects examining the digital platformisation of music and exploring the intersection of neoliberalism and the biopolitics of cultural production. Wang's research aims to shed light on the intricate interplay between culture, technology, and politics within the music industry ecosystem.

Matthew Worley is Professor of Modern History at the University of Reading. His books include No Future: Punk, Politics and British Youth Culture, 1976–84 (2017) and Zerox Machine: Punk, Post-Punk and Fanzines, 1976–88 (2024). Associated articles may be found in such journals as Contemporary British History, History Workshop Journal, and Twentieth Century British History. He is a co-founder of the Subcultures Network.