Everyone has a toilet story. Sometimes they’re funny, told amongst friends and interspersed with laughter from behind coy hands, smiles and blushing faces, and sometimes they’re whispered or guiltily divulged in secrecy or shame. Sometimes they’re spoken casually, or proudly, without deliberation. But often they’re not told at all. We believe these stories and experiences are important, and part of our focus in Around the Toilet has been to share toilet stories and experiences. We’ve done this through film, soundscape, a toolkit for architects and designers… and now we’ve made a zine!
In the zine we have collected toilet stories, alongside musings, ideas and opinions about the varied – sometimes mundane, but often crucial – role that toilets play in our lives.
Our work in Around the Toilet started with a focus on different ways of thinking about ‘accessibility’ and exclusion in public space. We argued that current ways of thinking about toilet access are too narrow and generic. Toilet access requires consideration of so many things: mental health, faith, gender, sexuality, race, disability, class, homelessness, workplace and labour rights, fatness, age, parenting, and much more. Toilets need to be designed and used with creativity, diversity and openness, reflecting the bodies, identities and requirements of the people who use them. Toilets need to be better!
This zine opens up conversations on many of these issues from lots of different people with different and sometimes contrasting perspectives – we’ve been so excited to see it take shape, and extremely thankful for the incredible contributions we were sent from all over the UK and Europe. The zine is also a small tribute to our friend, colleague and collaborator, Lisa Procter, who died in November 2017. We are very thankful to our incredible illustrator and designer, Stacy Bias, who has created a zine that we know Lisa would have loved.
You can view the zine online here. Although we are unable to send printed copies to individuals, we have a limited number for organisations and collectives. If you would have a use for the zine then get in touch with Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you’d like to use it for.
With thanks to the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) and Connected Communities for providing the funding to create this zine.