Abstract: “The Underwater City Project”
The Underwater City Project is a multimedia production and zine series, searching for the most accessible city in urban Turtle Island/Canada. The project documents personal experiences of ableism and access in five cities – Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax – through writing, interviews, photographs and film. The project’s first major production, a 68-page zine, was published and distributed in summer of 2014, and is currently available. Within the zine are interviews with activists and artists living in each city, poetry, creative non-fiction, and analyses of barriers to access and the movements that emerge in response. Underwater City explores aspects of living within normative infrastructures, adding to discussions around queerness, who is welcome in our cities and communities, and sharing visions of swimming to the nearest grocery store.
The Underwater City is an imagined place where ableism doesn’t exist. Aimee hopes one day she will live there.
Biography: Aimee Louw is a writer, radio journalist, and performer based in Montreal. She is the director of the Underwater City Project, which documents personal experiences of ableism and access in five Canadian cities through blogging and a 2014 zine of the same title (www.underwatercity.ca). Aimee studied political science at Concordia University and has presented research on social movements and the rhetoric of mobilization at conferences at McGill and York Universities. She co-hosts the radio show “Native Solidarity News” and works for the documentary film network Cinema Politica. An affiliate of the Critical Disability Studies Working Group at Concordia and Accessibilize Montreal, she is happy to be part of the growing disability justice movement in Montreal. She finds her place in that movement campaigning for accessibility and facilitating workshops relating to ableism, queerness and moving beyond notions of normality.