Saturday, December 3, 2011

WRTN/SPKN: a creative writing and zine project with Triangle Program

WRTN/SPKN is a short video (5 min 13 sec) that features creative work that emerged from a story writing and story telling project that took place at the Triangle ProgramCanada's only high school for LGBTQ youth.  For several weeks, we explored creative writing (particularly memoir) through practices including free association, “cut-up,” word strings, found poetry, and collaborative writing. We experimented with voice and form, and the relationship between the written and spoken, and visually explored word. Throughout our creative process, students were encouraged to claim their place as storytellers and experts in their own experience. Our work together culminated in the production and presentation of individual zines.

Students gave me permission to photograph their work, and develop WRTN/SPKN, a video that anthologizes their zines. There was consensus amongst the students that the video should be  distributed and available online as an educational tool. Triangle students particularly want to reach out to other youth who have been or are being bullied at school—and those who can make a big difference: school boards and trustees, school administrators, educators, and guidance counselors.

Many students said that if it weren’t for the Triangle Program, they wouldn’t be in school. Triangle students recognize education as a right for all students, and that lack of safety reduces access to education for LGBTQ students, and many other students for a variety of systemic reasons. Triangle students would like their stories and creative work to contribute to change for all youth who are struggling with safety and acceptance.
Anna Camilleri, artist educator

WRTN/SPKN is posted here on youtube:

A zine is usually a non-commercial publication, kind of
 like a magazine but with a twist. The main difference between a magazine
and a zine is that zines are not out there to make a profit but, rather, to add
other, often unheard voices into the mix. Zines are usually made out of
interest and passion and are often self-published by the writer/artist/creator. 

The Triangle Program is one of three micro-schools that are part of Toronto District School Board’s OASIS Alternative School. Triangle classroom provides a safe educational environment for LGBTQ-identified youth.