Raquel Duplin is the curator of Birmingham’s first Punk Rock Flea Market. Her passion for art, music and any underground talent speaks loudly to her devotion to Birmingham’s new take on flea markets. When she’s not spending time organizing the event, you can normally find her in Avondale, catching a show or grabbing a cold one at the brewery.
What made you want to start the Punk Rock Flea Market in Birmingham?
I wanted to make friends.
I moved a lot in my life, and I know it can take a long time to settle down and make friends. It takes well over a year to fit into a new place. When I moved to Birmingham in January, I wanted to jump into this city with two feet.
I have always been a curator or participator in local art groups wherever I may be. This included art collectives, community zines, art shows and gallery walks. Upon my arrival, I was seeking all these things, and looking for new friends with common interests in the Birmingham area.
With many situations… if you can’t find what you are looking for, just make it happen. Pennsylvania and Delaware had Punk Rock Flea Markets, and I loved participating in them. I got to meet some incredible people through these events. The events also motivated me to create and continue producing art.
Why do you think it has been so successful here?
Birmingham has the people to make it happen.
Birmingham has been growing at a rapid rate. The art and music scene is incredible here.
Visual artists and musicians are always looking for exposure, motivation, and networking opportunities. Birmingham is filled with plenty of people in town willing to support and encourage these talents.
Birmingham needed something like this, that’s why it is successful. Something all ages needs to exist to bring art, music and community together. It is beyond important to showcase Birmingham’s underground talent. The flea market serves as that platform for people to grow and to learn from one another.
What can you expect to find at this special flea market?
At the Flea Market, you can find art, music, vintage, records, zines and pure talent everywhere. The 50 vendors partaking in this event are amazing. The vintage collectors have a great eye for vintage, and the record collectors have those great ears for music! To read up on just a FEW featured artists visit the website, or follow the Facebook page.
The flea market is growing with every event. It’s grown past art and music, although those are the two primary roots of this project. The Birmingham Punk Rock Flea Market has grown beyond that turning the event into a community ordeal. We have workshops centered around empowerment and creativity such as, Songwriting, DJ-ing, Image & Identity, Zine-Making, Screen Printing, Design and more, all designed to cultivate self-esteem and healthy expression.”
What’s the most unique thing seen at the Flea Market?
That is a really tough question. The entire market is unique. I’ve seen taxidermy, oddities, bizarre works of art, steam punk accessories, hand-painted zombie dolls, rare records, strange knick-knacks and so much more.
What’s your typical Friday night out in Birmingham?
I will probably start the night real casual at Avondale Brewery, drink a beer or two (grab a pizza from Post Office Pies) and then venture on to whatever show is happening that night. One of the best things about Birmingham is that there is always a show. I am a lover of the arts, so I’ll see almost any act. Most of the shows I see are at Saturn, and if not there, I’ll end up at Firehouse, Desert Island Supply Co., Syndicate lounge or The Nick.
If it’s a real big night, I’ll end up at Marty’s PM for a dance party or another show (about that time, I probably shouldn’t be out).
Going to shows is a great way to support local musicians, so I never hesitate going to see a musical act. I probably see four shows a week on average. A great way to find out about cool stuff going on in town (pretty much my directory) is www.diybirmingham.com.
Now that all the questions are answered I would love to give a shout out to all the people that helped make this happen! Much thanks to the Flea Market Sponsors! Left Hand Soap Co., This Ol’ Thing Vintage and Birmingham Oddities. Also great thanks to Saturn for helping with this event from the very beginning.