Take It Back is a participatory zine making project made possible through an Unlimited Emerging Artist Award. The project came about because of the ways that many experiences of mental health and madness are made invisible by mental health campaigning and mainstream narratives that demand our experiences be coherent, positive, complete, verbal, linear and singular. Much work to facilitate ‘telling stories’ in mental health focuses on the kind of verbal narratives that are familiar and relatable, and do not leave room for creativity, ambivalence or experimentation. They often require access to specific knowledge or spaces and can leave out many members of the Mad and mental health community, especially those who cannot sufficiently speak from a place of ‘recovery’. Take It Back uses zines to facilitate the creative explorations of experiences beyond words and to ask how, why and where we might share these experiences with others.
In Take It Back I hope to share with others the potential of zines for exploring, understanding and communicating experiences of madness and mental health. Alongside my own work, a blend of creative exploration, activities and reflections, I will be working with three other zinemakers and artists to reflect on their own practices. This will come together in the form of a workbook zine which will be the foundation of the project.
This post is really a place holder whilst we get a project website together. However if you, or a group you’re part of, might be interested in receiving a workbook zine, or getting involved in the project, then you can contact me in the meantime at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you’d be interested in potentially hosting the zines made through this project in January – March 2022, get in touch!