Over the course of the Around the Toilet project, we have produced a range of different materials which explore themes relating to the toilet. In the interests of peer support, sharing our findings and raising awareness, we would like to encourage other people to use these materials (although we do ask that you credit/cite the project when you use them). This page will be regularly updated with new resources as they become available. There are a range of ways we think these resources might be useful to others, such as: university teaching/lecturing, teaching in schools, activist/political campaigning, research, design and workshops. We hope you may have other ideas too! The following resources may also be of use in exploring issues beyond the toilet. Some of the themes of our work include (in)accessibility, discrimination against queer and trans people, disability, ableism, religion, gender, sexuality, bodies, parenting, workers’ rights, architecture and design, schools, and toilet ‘training’.
If you do make use of our materials, we would really appreciate your feedback and a bit of information about how the materials are used (see form below).
In 2017 we invited contributions to a zine about toilets. Thanks to the wonderful contributions that we received from all over the UK and Europe, 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. This zine opens up many conversations from lots of different people with different and sometimes contrasting perspectives. 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.
Although we are unable to send printed copies to individuals, we have a limited number available for organisations and collectives. If you have a use for the zine then get in touch and let us know what you’d like to use it for.
Storying School Toilets is a sister project of the Around the Toilet which was funded by the ESRC’s Festival of Social Science and organised alongside Niki Rose, The Bower Wirks. Our focus has been on children, young people and staff members’ experiences of toilets in schools and early year settings. In creative workshops we led with children, we invited them to create comics to tell toilet stories. The comics are available to read/print here: The Elves that Live in the U-Bend, The Chicken, Fox and Talking Toilet Portal, The Bubble Trap and the Germs, The Toilet is Cross and The Cat’s Toilet Problems, Potty’s Story (this one was written by an adult participant), When I Fell Down the Toilet, Rupert The Rabbit’s Toilet Adventure, and The Poo Eater.
NB: We are aware that The Toilet Toolkit is currently unavailable and are working to try and fix this.
We created a digital Toilet Toolkit as part of our Servicing Utopia project and in conjunction with Live Works, The University of Sheffield School of Architecture’s ‘Urban Room’ in Sheffield city centre. The toolkit is designed to support planners, architects and designers to creatively re-think notions of access during the toilet design process. It was developed in response to the stories told by people involved in the Around the Toilet project for whom accessing a safe and comfortable toilet space was a continual challenge.
We have a range of illustrations of toilet stories online which can be printed as posters or used for other discussion points. They were drawn by Sarah Smizz, an artist who illustrated the discussions which took place at our events: Poster 1, Poster 2, and Poster 3.
We have produced a series of postcards to highlight different issues relating to toilet accessibility using the illustrations from the posters drawn by Sarah Smizz (above). A range of thirteen different postcards are available from the Action for Trans Health website in exchange for a small donation to their organisation. The postcards are also available for free at our events.
Travelling Toilet Tales Recordings
Our Travelling Toilet Tales project explored the ways in which everyday journeys are planned around the availability of a suitable toilet. We collected stories from a range of toilet users, including a woman lorry driver, a disabled parent, a cleaner, parents of disabled children, a person with IBS, a Muslim woman with a health condition and a non-binary person. These are available to listen to individually on our website and our Soundcloud page. Transcripts are also provided for all the recordings.
Gemma Nash, Drake Music, used the recordings to produce a short soundscape which is also available on our website and Soundcloud page. The soundscape is used in our Travelling Toilet Tales film (below).
In collaboration with Sarah Smizz (illustrator) and Gemma Nash (sound artist), we produced a short film to share the stories about toilet access we collected in the Travelling Toilet Tales project (see above). The film can be viewed on our website and Youtube page. Subtitles and transcripts are provided.
We produced a short animated film about toilet accessibility in collaboration with Content OD. The film accompanies the digital Toilet Toolkit we produced to encourage architects and planners to re-think notions of access during the toilet design process. The film is available on our website and Youtube page.
10 Reasons Why Accessibility is Important
We created a short hand-out which lists some of the key reasons we believe toilet accessibility is crucial. This provides a useful introduction to the topic for those who might not have thought about it before.
Toilet Journal Articles
We are in the process of publishing some of the ideas and findings produced by the Around the Toilet projects.
- Our first article, ‘School Toilets: Queer, disabled bodies and gendered lessons of embodiment’ was published in Gender and Education and available to read here.
- Another article, ‘Troubling school toilets: resisting discourses of ‘development’ through a critical disability studies and critical psychology lens’ was recently published in Discourse: Studies in Cultural Politics of Education and available here. If you don’t have free access to these journals then please get in touch and we can email you a copy for free.
- We wrote a chapter, Pissed Off! Disability Activists Fighting for Toilet Access in the UK for the Routledge Handbook of Disability Activism. If you’d like to read this, and can’t access the book, then feel free to get in touch, and we’ll do our best to email you a copy of the chapter (you can also get in touch using the short form below).
- In, ‘The toilet debate: stalling trans possibilities and defending ‘women’s protected spaces’ we argue that ‘debates’ around trans people’s access to toilets wrongly position the rights of (cis) women and trans people as oppositional to one-another. We show how these debates harm trans people, and restrict their access to space. This article is open access and you can read it here.
- Dr Lisa Procter, Co-Investigator on the project, has wrote a short blog article based on a talk, ‘How can a Queer/Crip New Materialism Energise Thinking about Spaces, Places and Design for Wellbeing?’ which she delivered for the BSA Yorkshire Medical Society.
- We have also been writing ongoing reflections on the project on our blog.