AK: It seems like for you a publishing practice and a printing press go hand-in-hand, so what particularly interests you about Risograph?

RN: I interned and worked at London’s Hato Press for a while. Seeing Risograph as a way of art-making and graphic design was really exciting to me. Before that, I encountered it in more of an activist context, where it was more about immediacy.

The history of Risograph as being so pivotal in campaigns and activism aligned with what we were interested in, and also it was genuinely easy to use and it was attainable. We were inspired by screen-printing collectives like the See Red Women’s Workshop, but it’s so hard to get a screen exposed and set up. While our Riso machines always break, there’s something a little bit more solid about the piece of machinery. It feels like activism just putting your image on the bed and having something come out, even if it’s just on a nice shade of pink paper.

HL: We never had a plan to open a Riso studio or anything like that. Sophie Chapman, who worked for Create London, set up a meeting between us and the project’s curator, who was looking for a new collective to be residents at Old Manor Park library. We applied to do a community printing press pilot project, with open access afternoons at the core of the project. We wanted something like an open house, or a kitchen where people sort of gather around—those spaces that crop up and become little catalysts for other things to happen. Then we were learning on the job with the people we were meant to be teaching. They’d have a problem and would be like, “How do I do it?” And we’d be like, “I dunno!” And then we’d google it together.