All of the ArtLab projects are about participants using art and visual material to express something about their identities and their relationship to the world. The Identizines project took place as part of an option course, Media, Gender and Identity, run by David Gauntlett and Sherryl Wilson, and supported by Jon Wardle and Media2, at Bournemouth Media School.
The instructions were to "make a magazine cover which reflects, in some way, your own sense of gender identity". To ensure that a wider audience was considered - rather than the magazine being aimed at an audience of one, its creator - we added that the magazine should be one "which you feel would appeal to other consumers". We also indicated that there should be "a certain amount of text indicating what features would appear in the magazine". The covers produced (which were not part of the course assessment) were imaginative and varied - as the gallery below shows.
Making the magazine cover is not 'simply' an art/design project, but is part of a process of discussion and reflection about images of gender, and identities, which took place in an online discussion forum, as well as in face-to-face seminars.
In sociological terms, the 'sample' who made these covers - Bournemouth University media students mostly (but not all) aged 19-21, who have opted for a course on media and gender - do not represent a wider population of, say, 'young people'. However, each individual represents themselves. This project also serves as a pilot study for a possible broader piece of sociological research in the future.