Disability Zine Project
Wellington Zinefest worked with local disabled creatives to make zines speaking on their experiences of disabilities in Aotearoa.
This project was overseen by longtime Wellington Zinefest collaborator Pinky Fang. Pinky helped our creatives to use zines to express their own unique perspectives on what it's like to be disabled in Aotearoa today.
This project was inspired by an article Pinky wrote for the Office for Disability Issues, where she rejects the idea that being told ‘You don’t look blind!’ is a compliment.
The Disability Zine Project aims to amplify the voices of disabled people and move towards adequate and fair representation, both at Wellington Zinefest and beyond.
This project is made possible with the support of Creative New Zealand.
[A blue and white illustrated graphic which reads ‘Disability Zine Project’. In the background there is a pattern made up of drawings of stylised eyes, ears, spines, brains and hearts.]
Online Launch Video
Wainui's Low Vision Algorithm
Wainui (she/her) is a 25 year old Māori woman with low vision, working as a Software Developer. She is passionate about advocating for disabilities and accessibility and hopes to use her skills in the tech industry to create a more accessible world.
[Artist Profile picture of Wainui Witika-Park. She has long brown hair and is wearing a traditional Māori cloak made of blue satin and feathers.]
This is Not a Happy Zine
Inkedyoda (they/them) is a queer artist based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. They are a frequenter of Wellington zinefest, collage and jewelry maker, and chronic oversharer. They can been found making zines and digital art around their experiences as a neurodivergent, queer intersex person with a chronic illness.
[Artist profile of Inkedyoda. It is a stylised illustrated portrait with a dark green background. They are wearing glasses and have short hair.]
Liam (he/him) is 17 and attends Wellington East Girls' College. Liam loves music and plays the flute, loves baking bread and giving it to his friends. Liam has had chronic pain in his rib cage for seven years which makes it difficult and sometimes impossible to breathe and move. Painting, drawing, and music is a welcome way to work though the complex experiences he's been through.
[Artist profile picture of Liam Young. He is wearing glasses and is bopping heads with a ginger cat.]
I Don't Dream of Labour
Rimu Bhooi (they/them) is a queer non-binary Indian person based in Pōneke. Rimu lives with Endometriosis and the many comorbidities that come with the condition. They study part time, as well as working as a writer, and as an advocate for marginalised communities.
[Artist profile picture of Rimu Bhooi. They are wearing red lipstick and have brown hair tied up.]
“This may feel true for every era, but I believe I am living in a time where disabled people are more visible than ever before. And yet while representation is exciting and important, it is not enough. I want and expect more. We all should expect more. We all deserve more.”
Other Disability Zine Projects
If you're curious to learn more about the relationship between disability and self-publishing, we've compiled a small list of overseas zine projects and makers exploring disability. But please note that this is just a tiny sample of what's out there!
Radical Visibility Zine: A QueerCrip Dress Reform Movement Manifesto is a magazine and resource celebrating disabled queer joy.
The project emphasises that confident and expansive representations of disability and sexuality opposes mainstream representation of disabled people as invisible or non-sexual.
Drawn Poorly is a United Kingdom-based project who make collaborative zines and run events, workshops and creative projects about chronic illness, disability and mental health.
Nothing About Us Without Us!
Published in 2007, this zine is "one queer fat gimp response to ableism and fatphobia in queer communities." Written by Romham Padraig Gallacherm, it provides guidance for, and critique of, the way mainsteam queer communities engage with disability and bodyshaming. You can download this zine for free on Queer Zine Archive Project.
Dis This! is a zine featuring art, writing (both creative and informative) by disabled people published in May 2020. The creator has made a digital version available to read online. Donations to the creator are appreciated.
A collaborative zine created in 2018 by the Disabled Students Campaign at Cambridge University Student Union. The zine contains writing, art, photography, and poetry from eight different artists on the theme of “disability and the body”, considering what a disabled body is, what it looks like, and what it means to have one. Available as a free download.
Raz is from the UK and has a range of zines they've made about being trans/nonbinary and disabled/chronically ill. You can read their zines on their Issuu page.