Underwater City

The Underwater City Project is a multimedia production and zine series, searching for the most accessible city in urban Turtle Island/Canada.

QBTC photo 2014

[Image description: I am holding the painting of the cover of my zine, painted by artist Lucy Anacleto. On a table are copies of my zine laid on top of a blue table cloth with sea animals on it. There are people in the background, and a person to my right sitting with me. This took place at a bookfair.]

The project documents personal experiences of ableism and access in five cities – Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax – through writing, interviews, photographs and film.


Underwater City I: Searching for the most accessible city in Canada

UnderwaterCity1Cover_Front Page

[Cover of my zine. At the top: Underwater City I: Searching for the most accessible city in Canada in yellow font. Below my name is written. Overlaid on painting of a woman floating above the downtown of a city, clouds- or waves – above, her head turned away, light coming in rays through the clouds. There is a starfish in the bottom left corner.]

Released in August, 2014, UWC I contains interviews with activists and artists living in 5 Canadian cities, 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.

Sometimes I wish the city was under water

so I could put on my goggles, see everything kind of foggy, and swim around.

I kind of see things better from a distance anyway, with something between me and the thing I’m looking at.

I would swim, float up to doorsteps, flutter my ways through windows, wouldn’t have to worry about opening taps or bottles or jars because there’d be liquid all around. And plus they would rust off if I did need to open them anyway…

-Excerpt, Underwater City I

Underwater City II: Stories of Love from the Broken City


[Cover image, which reads: Underwater City II by Aimee Louw. A person with curly hair and rainbow coloured shirt and blue pants sits on a hill. A cat is at the person’s back. There is an opened letter with envelope to the person’s right, and they look out on a city where a demonstration is taking place, with people holding signs. There is a tree to the left, in the foreground. Art by Sarah MangleSarah Mangle.]

Zine two was released in September, 2015! Here’s a description of what to expect:

Usually when I fall in love, I fall into a lot of it. Following on the heels of Underwater City Zine I, Underwater City II: Stories of Love from the Broken City explores the many facets of loving, belonging, and exclusion that exist in Montreal, Quebec, deemed one of the most inaccessible cities in Canada. Why do we feel so awkward on buses? Why is it so important to spend time with our crip family? Snapshots of togetherness in the midst of a heated protest, feelings of complete isolation standing in front of the Transit Commission with a poem as my arsenal, romance and community in the face of ambivalence are shared, expanded on and spun into a tapestry of in/accessibility in the Broken City. UWC II builds on the comparative findings of zine I to further explore access, queerness, and who is welcome in urban spaces.

zines in a barTo purchase:

Contact me on the Contact page and I will be happy to mail one or both zines to you. Electronic versions available.

The blog

UWC blog image copy

[Header image of underwatercity.ca blog: title in royal blue, laid over a blurred image of bus headlights on black background. In the bottom left corner, an image of my winter boots on a wooden ramp.]

Check out the blog here: Underwatercity.ca

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s