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ZIP ZIP MY BRAIN HARTS (article first published : 2006-07-23)

Zip Zip My Brain Harts is the result of collaboration between Durban-based photographer Angela Buckland and HSRC researchers concerned with disability issues. Angie Buckland’s remarkable photographs, interspersed with challenging text, are a unique expression of the fullness of human experience, with all its joy, pain and confusion.

There is a tendency for disability to be a secret. The challenges that face families of people with disabilities are also often hidden away. Part of the reason is that disability is still largely seen as a shame, a disgrace, and a source of stigma. Mother of a disabled child, Nikki, Angie Buckland provides a personal account of how she has dealt with the challenge of disability.

Zip Zip My Brain Harts hopes to open up a space for dialogue about the issue of disability and also to provide families and healthcare professionals with a compassionate, understanding and inspiring guide to ordinary people’s real experiences.

Five sets of photographic images are interspersed between the chapters. The book’s foreword is by Justice Albie Sachs who states: “This is a most remarkable piece of visualised literature. Atmospheric, sharp and engaging of your wits, the book neither uplifts nor casts down, but troubles and soothes and fills you with enduring poetic wonder.”

Angela Buckland completed her MA in the UK. She has exhibited widely in South Africa and abroad. Her work is in a number of private and public collections. Angie currently works and lives in Durban with her husband, architect David Barrow, and their two children, Nikki and Christine.

Zip Zip My Brain Harts is edited by K McDougall, L Swartz & A. Van Der Merwe. Kathleen McDougal has a Masters in media studies from the University of Cape Town and is completing her PhD in anthropology at the University of Chicago. During her time at the HSRC, she was involved in projects related to disability and the mass media in South Africa. Leslie Swartz is Professor of Psychology at Stellenbosch University. He has published widely on mental health and disability issue and is co-editor of Disability and Social Change: A South African agenda (HSRC Press). Amelia van der Merwe is a research psychologist currently working as a Research Associate in the Child, Youth, Family and Social Development Research Programme of the HSRC. Her research focuses on sources of risk and resilience in childhood and adolescence and on children’s rights.

Zip Zip My Brain Harts is edited by K McDougall, L Swartz & A. Van Der Merwe, published by HSRC Press and is available at Adams Bookstores at R160 (ISBN 0-7969-2159-8).




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