Meet Your Zine Maker: Deafula
Deafula is a sassy, informative, and comical exploration of what it’s like to be deaf. Kerri writes about identity, disability politics, everyday annoyances, and whatever else strikes her fancy. Meet her at Brooklyn Zine Fest 2013 on Sunday, April 21st at Public Assembly in Williamsburg!
You just finished a one-week, multi-city Zine Tour. How did that go? Any crazy stories?
Zine Tour was AMAZING! It ruled so hard. My tourmates and I definitely came away with some crazy stories, but the craziest ones I’m bound to secrecy about and you all will never know about them, ha!
I can tell you though we ended up in a few nutty / awesome situations – like checking into a weird awful motel at 2am in the middle of nowhere in OH and as soon as we got to our room, our hotel room phone started ringing (creepy). Or how in Pittsburgh, after our reading we ended up at an Elks Lodge where a huge multigenerational crowd gathered to listen to a banjo club play – which was twenty-ish banjo players on a stage playing great old-timey songs while people of all ages danced and drank. It was an awesome time!
Tell us about Deafula #5 (released in March of 2013, in time for the Chicago zine fest).
This issue is an interview with my mother. It’s a little emotional, a little funny, and (I hope) pretty informative. I wanted to interview my mom to give people an idea about what it’s like to raise a deaf child when you are a hearing parent in a hearing family. I also wanted to show people how different it was thirty years ago – this was before the ADA, before closed captioning, before cochlear implants, and all of those things. It was a much different terrain to navigate back then, with a lot less guidance.
At the Chicago Zine Fest, you were part of a panel on Writing about Health, Disability, and Accessibility. What did you learn from the other panelists, and what were you able to share?
The panel was great! One of the things I learned was that even with different disabilities / health issues, we all faced a lot of the same struggles with our zines: deciding what to include and not to include, deciding with whom to share our writing, issues with language choice and self-representation, and a lot of other common themes. The Q&A conversation at the end was also excellent, because it allowed us to talk about accessibility in the zine community, and for me to share ideas for making events like zine fests more accessible.
[Read the full transcript of the panel talk here.]
What’s your favorite part of going to zine fests?
The people! I love going to zine fests and seeing old friends and meeting new people. Getting to talk to people about zines and/or shared experiences is a truly great thing. I love the sense of community I always come away with after a zine fest.