Monday, April 5, 2010

Feb. 25, 2010: Part 2: zines about sickness, health and medicalization: When Language Runs Dry: An interview with Claire Barrera

When Language Runs Dry: A Zine for People with Chronic Pain and their Allies, edited by Meredith Butner and Claire Barrera.

Its taken me so long to post this blog interview, because it is hard to sum up this interview in words (how ironic! this zine is all about finding words to accurately express chronic pain and illness !)

I interviewed Claire over the phone. This zine discusses limits of language in describing chronic pain and creates more language around it, by hosting many people's experiences. Explaining pain to doctors. Explaining pain to your friends/supports you have to put pain into words, requiring many voices. Seeking alternative and western medical care. Understanding your abilities and communities differently. Claire read her own piece found in the second issue " Fake it till you make it" This was the best part of of the interview. Fake it Till you Make it tells the story of navigating depression when she was 19 and reflects on how she used many of the same coping strategies when she developed chronic pain at 25. Development of personal spiritual practise. The fact that everything doesn't suddenly get better.

Calm and solid. Giving meaning and a project to their own experience of the pain they were experiencing. breaking isolation. creating a community around chronic pain and illness. Out of Portland, Oregon. personal stories (developing a catalogue of strategies and stories).

Community activism that grows out of it.

The things we connect our chronic pain.

The interview is way way way better than this blog post. Email me for a copy of this post:

To contact Meredith and Claire, email
Visit to get both copies of the zine.

The third issue is underway! contact Claire and Merdith to discuss submission!

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