Intervening in an uncomfortable topic

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I’ve just added a new project to my online portfolio. It’s called “Cause & Effect” and takes the shape of a zine (a DIY produced small magazine). It is a gift-card size zine made from one sheet of paper. The sheet is folded enough times to produce 16 pages. The zine is housed in an envelope. This is issue 1 and it is titled “hello?”. More issues to come, hopefully at least 5.

While the zine is what I produced, this project is really about performing an intervention. Cause & Effect it is an intervention first and foremost that makes use of the zine format to share a conversation on a not so public topic. I intervene into the public space by placing the zine in public places I visit. So far, I have left a copy of the zine in two community bookshelf libraries, at Super Value grocery store (by the oatmeal packages and by fair trade tea), and the bathroom at the small Cafe de Soleil on Commercial Drive. I have more to disbribute. The zine will also appear in coffee shops, on tables, waiting to be read. I’m sure that the more I do this, the more ideas I will get as to where I could leave the zine to be found by chance.

What is the intervention all about? Well, it’s about making public the topic that is being discussed in the zine—loneliness. This topic will be discussed also in future issues but each time with a different person. Is loneliness a private issue or a public issue? What causes loneliness? How do you deal with loneliness? Few people talk about feeling lonely. The conversation I present in the zines are meant to get people to engage with the topic and to talk about it—perhaps people that discover the zine will talk about their discovery with someone else. Perhaps, they’ll realize that there are other people out there that feel like them.

Zines are typically distributed through distros and sold for a few dollars. Because this zine is an intervention, I will not, at the moment, be distributing it through commercial channels. Nevertheless, if you wish to buy an issue right now through me, you can do so at the project page.

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