Interviews with Great Folks #16: Kerri of Deafula
January 2, 2013 § 1 Comment
Hi! Tell us who you are!
My name is Kerri. I live in Philadelphia and write the zine Deafula, which is a perzine that explores my experience as a deaf person. I write a zine about my deafness to both have a place to talk about the bad and good ways it influences my life, and so that I can be an informative resource for hearing people.
When did you start writing zines? Why did you start writing zines?
I discovered zines when I stumbled upon the book “Girls Guide to Taking Over the World” when I was in high school. The idea that I could write a zine about whatever I wanted just like the amazing women featured in this book blew my mind and delighted me. My first zine was a split with my best friend – I mostly wrote about feminist musings and how much I love my dog. When I went off to college, I scored an awesome gig editing the university women’s center feminist student compilation zine, and also wrote a senior thesis project about zines (and psychoanalytical theory!). Both of these undertakings kind of took up all of my zine-energy, and I didn’t do my own zine for many years, aside from small one offs here and there. In 2010 I decided to do a little zine about being deaf on a whim, and Deafula was born. I thought that too would be a one off, but people liked it so much and I found I had so much to say about being deaf, I decided to keep putting more issues out, until I run out of things to say (if that ever happens)!
What do you write about?
I write about all sorts of things related to my deafness. Writing in zine format means that I get to switch back and forth and write about it from all sorts of angles – to tell stories about my childhood, to share tips for hearing people, to inform others about disability issues, to complain about accommodation access, whatever I want! In the future I hope to tell more personal stories, to educate about more deaf-related issues, and to go into more detail about what being deaf is like for me and how it has shaped my life, personality, and relationships.
Why are zines important to you?
Zines are so incredibly important to me that sometimes it feels difficult to put into words just how and why that is. Mostly, I strongly believe in what zines represent: the accessibility of the written word, publishing not being restricted to the well-connected few, the freedom to express ones self! I think that everyone has something to say, and should feel free to share it, and what better way to do that than in a zine.
Tell us anything you feel moved to!
I will be talking about my experience writing Deafula at the Chicago Zine Fest in 2013 and am really looking forward to it! I’ll be on a panel with two other great zinesters (Maranda Elizabeth and Dave Roche), and we will be discussing writing about health, disability, and accessibility.