Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ad Education

There's plenty to critique in the world of advertising, particularly when it comes to how marketers target our health. As detrimental as this can be, it also provides us with some great tools to tweak in educating the public about health issues. Creative campaigns like the ones below are a great example of this tactic:

Milk Matters, a breastfeeding support and education collaborative based in Britain, recently posted this faux ad for a product called "TruBreast," touting convenient and eco-friendly built-in features such as the Auto-Nutrient Calculator ("no more scooping or measuring!") and the Kwik-Fill Temperature Regulating Tank, as well as the fact that you'll never, ever need to sterilize the product before use. In comparing breastfeeding to commercial products using the same sort of language (plus a sense of humor), they do a startlingly good job of making the competition look pretty lame in comparison.

Australian artist Justine Cooper took this approach further when she launched website, interactive self-test, tv-ads, billboards and magazine print ad campaign for a fictional psychiatric drug called "Havidol," which was created as a satire of the U.S. pharmaceutical industry and its Direct-to-Consumer marketing. She did a pretty convincing and subtle job of it, and supposedly fooled both consumers and at least one medical site into believing that the invented condition it purported to treat was real (though I have yet to find actual evidence of this online). Take the quiz to see if YOU might have Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder (DSACDAD).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Laura Szumowski Resources!

After her visit to our class, artist /author/self-publisher extraordinaire Laura Szumowski was generous enough to send along this amazing list of resources to share with you all. She also wanted you to know that if you have any questions as you develop your publications, she'd be happy to offer further advice via e-mail. Thanks so much, Laura!

Some Thoughts on Fundraising is a great article on using Kickstarter and similar services to market your project and raise funds ahead of time.

Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print, and Sell Your Own Book
For those of you who want to take the self-publishing into the realm of books, this is the guide Laura mentioned in class. She also points out that there's also a second volume that includes on publishing digital books (for e-readers like the Kindle, etc) for those of you who are interested.

Your Handwriting > Editable DIY Fonts
http://www.yourfonts.com/ ($9.95) (this is the one Laura used.)
http://www.fontgrinder.com/ ($19.95)
http://www.vletter.com/index.htm ($150) - vLetter Pro has 4 variations for lowercase, and 2 variations for uppercase. Not sure if it's compatible with InDesign and Photoshop. (If files are converted to PDF before going to the printer, it should be fine.)
http://www.fontgod.com/ ($80) - converts handwriting to a TrueType font.

Printers for Books/Publishing:
Grace Printing (where Tip of the Iceberg was printed)
Cushing-Malloy in Ann-Arbor, MI (where Cycling is being published)

Printers and Templates for Postcards, Business Cards and Mailers:
Sharp Dots - full-color, good deals
Overnight Prints - glossy, cheap, full-color, and fast

and last but not least,
Laura's Distribution Bookeeping Form

Call For Entries: Visual AIDS Benefit, NYC

Call for Entries: Postcards from the Edge benefit for Visual AIDS

Hosted by CRG Gallery, New York

DEADLINE: Friday, December 10, 2010

Visual AIDS invite artists to donate a 4"x6" original artwork for our Postcards From the Edge exhibition and benefit sale. Painting, drawing, photography, printmaking and mixed media are all welcome.

For Submission Forms and details, visit:

From their site: Postcards from the Edge is an exhibit and benefit sale of over 1500 one-of-a-kind postcard-size works of art by established and emerging artists. The fun twist about the Postcards from the Edge benefit is that all artwork is exhibited anonymously. The works are signed on the back only and though viewers receive a list of all participating artists, they don't know who created which piece until after purchased! It makes for a fun guessing game, but also puts all the artwork on an even playing field, whether you show at a blue chip gallery or just graduated from art school...you don't know who you might be showing next to or who’s art collection you might end up in!

Postcards from the Edge will be hosted at CRG Gallery from January 7-9, 2011.

Visual AIDS utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving the legacy -- because AIDS IS NOT OVER! visualAIDS.org

Monday, November 8, 2010

conflicting messages from mass media

A disturbing article in the NY Times this week about dairy marketing and consumption in the US is an important reminder why we shouldn't rely on mass-produced or even government-funded media on health and food: because the information you get depends on who's paying the bills. Watch what you eat, and where you're getting it -- and get those zines out there!

Here's the Article: While Warning About Fat, US Pushes Cheese Sales

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Media Democracy Day! November 6th.

Hello Everyone. I am presenting at a conference this Saturday, 8:30am-4:30pm, we will be talking about the importance of media and how media can be used to effectively combat social justice issues. There will be two panel discussions in the morning + LUNCH and then I am presenting Beyondmedia Education's Anti-Violence Project, Chain of Change, and facilitating two break out discussions after our presentation.
It's $5 for students and you don't have to come for the entire day to participate!
300 S Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60607

This project is sponsored by Community Media Workshop: Bringing the community and media together to combat violence in our neighborhoods through the creation and distribution of local and progressive media.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Posters on Campus for Counseling Services!

"I paid attention to everything but myself. I took care of everything but myself."

When Joe Behen, from health services, came to our class he mentioned some grad students who are making flyers for the services offered through counseling services. While I was using the restroom in the fibers dept I was privileged to spot one and have a camera on me...they are beautiful, printed on fabric. They had already been taken down...which seems to sad to me...but I think this project is great!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

EduPublication for 10/21

That's right: your typed + printed PROPOSAL forms are due at the beginning of class next week. You can download and fill out the form (if you haven't already) here: Project Proposal Form!

* If you need an estimate for the BUDGET part of your proposal, get in touch with / check out the online rates and services of SAIC's Service Bureau. Make sure to leave them at least 24 hours to get back to you (preferably more, in case they have questions for you).

* Those who met with Christa this past week will PRESENT your zine pitch to the group for feedback. Those who met with Terri will present the following week.

Questions? E-mail either/both of us sooner than later. See you next week!

Condoms that Bite

After doing a little more research I thought I'd follow up on the rape-deterring condom that came up in class this week. The condom's inventor, Sonette Ehlers, is a doctor in South Africa, which has the highest rape rates in the world, acording to Human Rights Watch: one in every two women will be raped in her lifetime. This fact gives the device some important context, as the probability and circumstances of rape are rather different than those here in the US.

According to Ehlers, women there have resorted to DIY versions of the Rape-Axe (as this condom is called) for years, inserting sponge-wrapped blades into their vaginas before going out. Yikes. While certainly not without its problems, the Rape-Axe Condom is still a step up in safety for both parties, at least on one level. Here's a fairly in-depth article on the condom from Mother Jones: Anti-Rape World Cup Condoms... With Teeth?

Friday, October 8, 2010

EduPublication for 10/13

for next week!

WRITE/CREATE: a 3-4 page mockup of an EXCERPT of your zine. This will serve several purposes: it'll allow you to experiment with layout/format possibilities you've been considering to see how they really work. It'll also allow you to get a chunk of your content done and out of the way. We'll be doing another round of speed-meetings next week, so this mockup will be something for us to give feedback on as you develop your zine concept.

This week we'll be focusing on collaborative groups and individuals who incorporate zines and/or wellness issues into actions, events, or multimedia projects. Most of the readings for this week are online and relatively short. They don't need printing, but make sure you leave enough time for exploring online!

* Madam Pink Interview in Ladyfriend Zine (download as a regular PDF)
* Transformative Justice Zine (read online by clicking the "next page" links)
* Street Harassment Project Website (explore the contents, particularly THESE )
* Small Science Collective Website (explore the contents online, especially body-related zines)

Note: You do NOT need to print the latter three out. Please read and be prepared to discuss in class. There will also be NO written reflections due for these readings, so you can focus your energy on the zine excerpt.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chicago in War

Here is the info about the art show and series I am helping organize. We want Chicago to take a moment and deal with OUR wars...how do they effect our lives, our health, our communities, our families, our bodies, our cities, our country, our world....
If anyone wants to organize an event that would be AMAZING...we will put it in the calendar for the show!

The distance is great.

The disconnect is great.
The impact is deep.
CHICAGO IN WAR - November 2010
Chicago in War is a series of events, art shows, and performances that explores the continued rupturing of the traumas of war in everyday America.

We are seeking your participation.

Chicago is in a war. The occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have and will continue to leave deep scars in our hearts and minds; and for some of us these scars are emblazoned on our physical bodies and memories. Too often these occupa tions are swept from our conscience, into the alleys of our streets, into the corners of our city and our collective minds. If they are ever to come to end, their myriad effects must be recognized, unearthed, uncovered, demystified , and exposed!

We are calling on you to help bring the wars into the spotlight, gather the people, open the spaces and ask our city to listen!

We are calling for anyone who is moved by these ruptures and cracks in our lives to organize an event/art show/discussion/activity/ or action relating to this topic during the month of NOVEMBER 2010.
Send us your proposals at :

Please include:
1. A description of your event- how it relates to "Chicago in War"
2. Details about the time and place of your event that will be included in the printed and online programs for Chicago in War
3. Any links to websites that can be used to promote your event
Nicole Baltrushes
Program Coordinator-Chicago in War

The main events already scheduled in the Chicago in War series are:

Intrusive thoughts- an exhibition of work by Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans
Opening November 11th at The National Veterans Art Museum
Intrusive thoughts are unwelcome involuntary thoughts, images, or unpleasant ideas that may become obsessions are upsetting or distressing, and can be difficult to manage or eliminate.
Although it is commonly not seen there are silent signs of our current occupations in our local communities, households, and memories. This show will feature work by veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Global War on Terror that will bring these signs from the shadows to the forefront and give these traumas a voice in the political and cultural discussion of today.

Operation Exposure
A project of Just Seeds and Iraq Veterans Against the War that uses graphic installations to expose the traumas of war in everyday America. A exhibition of posters at Mess Hall along with wheatpasting adventures throughout the city.

Friday, October 1, 2010

EduPublication for 10/1

Hey everybody, here's the plan:

this week's readings have been changed from what's on the syllabus. Please print and read the following short articles:
* Knight Citizen News Network's "Why Interview?"
* Stu Willis's "How to Approach Strangers... " (note: the main text of this is below the video).

Six key questions to start from next week. Decide what information you'd like to gather from your own on-the-street interviews and how best to do so. You may not use all of your questions in each interview, but it's important to have alternates in case one line of inquiry isn't working out. We will discuss your questions in class on Thursday.

* a laptop if possible, for transcription purposes.
* your six questions
* a portable audio recording device - at least one per team. Make SURE you test these out beforehand so that you're comfortable using them in the field next week.

If you're checking out a field recorder or other digital recorder from one of the school media centers, this is especially true. These usually require authorization - so do not wait to get this process underway.

* If you're using something that requires cassettes or minidiscs, make sure you have a blank!

Your project proposal applications, due first thing on October 21.
You can now download the Project Proposal Form HERE as a type-friendly PDF. Let us know if you run into any difficulties along the way.

As for print numbers, Terri and I discussed the question further and decided that given the public nature of these projects it makes sense to require a minimum of 50 copies of your zine/ public project, taking into account that 16 of these will be going to members of the class for review/critique. We are looking into funding sources to help make this more viable.

Given that, we've added a budget breakdown to the form. Working out a rough estimate of your costs is an important component of most grant applications, and this one's no exception. If we don't get as much funding as we request, this will help us assess which projects are in need of the most assistance to reach their goals. The clearer you are in listing your expenses, the better.

Depending on the scope of your project it's also a good idea for each of you to start seeking support from relevant organizations / groups as well, and this will come in handy there as well.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Doctor's Orders?

One more way to get the word out about public health issues: rap videos.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Health Edupublication for 9/30

Here's what's the what for next week:

WRITE: one or two paragraphs describing your proposed zine concept and formatting idea. If you're trying to decide between a few good options, try to narrow these down to two. We'll do individual meetings to help hone these ideas for your final proposals.

If you're feeling really lost in this area, describe what you identify as your main challenges in developing the zine.

FIND, READ, and PRESENT ON: Two published zines that you feel inform your own approach in some way, either in terms of content, aesthetic, writing style etc. Try to choose two that represent different aspects - for instance, one might have to do with content you're interested in working with, while another might represent a stylistic approach that interests you... or that you'd like to avoid.

If you're not sure where to start, here are some leads:
* visit Quimby's bookstore to browse their selection of small-press materials. You can start with their new "health" section, near the front of the store, but take a look at anything else that jumps out at you. Other places to find and buy zines (though there will be fewer to choose from) include Chicago Comics, Women and Children First, No Coast, Golden Age, and, if you're lucky, your local independent record store or comics shop.

* check out the downloadable/printable zines at online archives like zinelibrary.info, the queer zine archive, and the Small Science Collective. Keep in mind that most of these zines will require navigating the double-sided printing issue we ran into with last week's readings (most printers don't offer the option of double-sided printing). The exception is Small Science Collective, which uses the same small single-sheet format we used for our introductory zines in class.

* talk with friends who may have their own small zine collections, and see what they recommend and/or let you borrow.

* search the zine collections of the Chicago Underground Library, Depaul University Zine Collection, or our own Joan Flasch collection. These libraries do NOT generally allow their materials to circulate (i.e. you can't take the zines out with you) but most zines will have ordering information on them. If you find a zine you like, you can contact Quimby's or check online to see if you can get copies that way.

conflict kitchen

To follow up on our conversation in class this week, here's another recent example of functional packaging-as-zine: the Conflict Kitchen project in Pittsburgh, PA.

From their website:

Conflict Kitchen is a take-out restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States government is in conflict.

Conflict Kitchen’s current iteration is an Iranian take-out restaurant, "Kubideh Kitchen", that serves kubideh: spiced meat in freshly-baked barbari bread with onion, mint, and basil.

The sandwich is served in a custom-designed wrapper that includes interviews with Iranians on subjects ranging from Persian poetry to the current political turmoil.

Find out more about the project on their website HERE or support their next iteration, "Bolani Pazi", an Afghan take-out restaurant HERE.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Health Zinesters on Film

Joe Behen, the Director of SAIC's Health Services and one of our esteemed special guests next week, tipped us off to the new film "Crooked Beauty" about artist-activist-zinester Jacks MacNamara. MacNamara is the founder of the Icarus Project, which publishes numerous zines and other resources on mental health issues, including one we're reading for class this week. SAIC will bring the film and its director to the Gene Siskel Theatre this Spring. It looks pretty incredible, I have to say. Check out the trailer for the film, below.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

thought showers, idea clusters, and excogitation

After our conversation about it in class, I was curious to follow up on the derogatory use of the word "brainstorming." It turns out to be a pretty interesting case, and oh-so relevant to the issue of health education and information dissemination. Thanks so much to Megan for bringing this up!

According to Epilepsy Action, the concern that the term might be offensive people with epilepsy was raised by some well-intentioned governmental agencies: The Welsh Development Agency and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Belfast. Apparently, in addition to its far more common colloquial use to describe creative problem-solving, "brainstorm" is sometimes used to describe ‘a succession of sudden and severe phenomena, due to some cerebral disturbance’ (Oxford English Dictionary).

As an alternative, the agencies suggested the term "thought shower" be used as a substitute. Here in the US, apparently that was translated into the more American "idea cluster," or even "excogitate" if you want to get really fancy about it, none of which quite have the same ring to them.

Interestingly, The National Society for Epilepsy followed up on this bit of political correctness with a survey that found that the vast majority of people who actually have epilepsy had never even considered that the term might be used in a derogatory way, and in fact were much more put off by the idea of public misperception that they might be overly sensitive. In fact, many seem pretty annoyed by the whole thing.

Epilepsy Action also provides a helpful info page on the condition which includes terminology you should try to avoid when discussing the condition, which seems fairly relevant to our discussions (and publications) around health and the body in general.

Health Edupublication for 9/23

Hey there, everyone. Next week's class focuses on mental health and related issues (grief, substance abuse, support networks). Here's what we've got:

* Friends Make the Best Medicine (Icarus Project) Quimby's now has copies of this zine for our class. If you can't make it over there, download and print the zine from their site HERE.

* The Worst (anonymous) - requires double-sided printing + folding

* Prescription for Change (anonymous)

* a written response essay, due, printed at the beginning of our next class.

Response Essay Guidelines: Choose two zines from the week’s readings. In 1-2 typed pages, compare and contrast them focusing on what you find successful and what you might have done differently.

Just a note after today's excellent discussion - we want to make sure you know that we don't expect (or even want) you to try to reach every possible demographic. The idea is to provide you with resources and information about a range of themes and approaches, including some zine needs that are out there. This does not mean that you should make work that speaks to the needs of homeless teens and transgendered people and SAIC students and senior citizens and whatever other group might possibly pick up your publication. Consider that focusing on a particular community or mode of distribution can actually open up unexpected possibilities for creativity and outreach, which we'll talk about more at the beginning of class next week.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Zines on Toast!

So, Alex Wrekk (from Brainscan and Stolen Sharpie Revolution) with about half a dozen UK zinesters are going to be reading, talking, and joking about at Quimby's Bookstore this Saturday at 7 p.m. Just thought you all should know!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

EduPublication for 9/16

Hey hey all, what amazing zines and great discussion today. Here's what's up for next week's sex-ed-themed class:

* Tip of the Iceberg (Laura Szumowski)
* Susann Gage (Temporary Services)
* Vaginal Underground (YWEP)
* Bad Encounter Line Zine (YWEP)
* Grabbing Good Health by the Balls handout (Queer People's Collective)

* your response essay focusing on two or three of the above, as per the guidelines described in the syllabus.

the websites for both
* Young Women's Empowerment Project +
* Chicago Women's Health Center
to get a good understanding of each organization. After perusing, write down three questions to ask our visiting speakers next week.


Here's the main resource for what I mentioned in class, zines as a valued tool for democracy in Cambodia (and specific to empowerment of young women, first generation of lots of women receiving higher education in Cambodia). Anne Elizabeth Moore's blog for the project, camb(l)o(g)dia

Check out "How to Make This Very Zine" in Khmer. I'm pretty sure Quimby's also carries Cambodian Grrrl (or did). She spends her winters in Cambodia, so the project is on-going and expected to continue through this winter as well.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Street Anatomy exhibition opens tonight

For those of you interested, here's more info on the Street Anatomy show that opens September 3rd (tonight!) at the International Museum of Surgical Science, located at 1524 N. Lakeshore Drive (the inner drive).

The exhibition is curated by Vanessa Ruiz, who runs streetanatomy.com, a blog exploring intersections between medicine, art, and design. The show features a range of anatomical graffiti, screenprinted posters, skateboard decks, vinyl toys and hand-cast chocolates. The opening tonight will feature a live interactive event and the chance to mingle with lots of people with anatomical tattoos... but if you can't make it you can still catch the show 'til November 19th.

Due for EduPublication 9/9

Just to recap, here's what we've got on our plates for the next class.

* "Engaged Pedagogy" by Bell Hooks
* Anne Elizabeth Moore's "How to Be a Zinester" - bring printed version with you to class

* a mini-zine presenting a health condition you're familiar with in a way that surprises your audience. Al of your zines must be printed and folded before class begins on Thursday. We won't have time to fold in class that day!

* Quimby's bookstore at 1854 W. North Avenue (near the Damen Blue Line stop) to buy the three required readings. They should have them behind the front counter for you. The third zine on the list may not arrive until next week, FYI. If you get there before it does, please pick up the first two to start with.

This is also a great chance to browse their selection of other relevant zines of interest, which you'll be reporting on later in the semester. If you're curious about publications on a particular topic, ask the person at the counter if they have recommendations - they can often help navigate what's in stock to find things you might not find otherwise!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Welcome to Health EduPublication!

Welcome to the class blog for Health EduPublication: Community Zine Clinic. We'll be using this site regularly as a home base where you can download class readings and find links to online resources that come up in class. It's also a space for you to write reviews of health-related zines and to share information about relevant events, videos, news articles and other things of interest you'd like to share. The blog will is a basic resource for anyone interested in the combined topics of health education and independent media.

Once you've logged in as a user, you can either create a new post containing text, images, videos and links, or start a conversation by commenting on an existing post. (Note - people can post a comment even if they're not a part of the class). This is a visual class, so please include some sort of image (still or moving) to accompany any post.