DSTL Arts – a nonprofit arts mentorship organization that inspires, teaches, and hires emerging artists from underserved communities.
By Tanya Sotelo
Raising an Autistic child has had me look more closely at how the world perceives Autism and Autistic people. I began to realize what an impact Aurtistic could have when I shared on social media about how Aurtistic came to be and what we were trying to do with the zine. Friends, family, and strangers online messaged me about their excitement for the Zine and how happy they were to see something like Aurtistic was being made.
When my Editor in Chief and I began to brainstorm for issue 2 of Aurtistic Zine, perception immediately jumped out at me as a theme. I thought about all the encounters with people who have had their perception of Autism curated by the media and how they react to being informed that our son is Autistic. It often leads to responses of “Well at least he doesn’t look Autistic.” “He looks normal though!” “Maybe he will grow out of it?” and many more. This will never fail to induce a silent rage to well up inside of me. I try my best to explain that there is no “look” this is not something that can be “grown out of” and I don’t even bother with the whole normal thing because what the hell?
Those responses are what drives me. I truly believe that through Aurtistic we are able to offer a different viewpoint from what the mainstream media currently perpetuates. That through the zine Autistic artists can share their talent and their stories that encourage others to expand or change their perception of Autism. Art is often used as bridge between cultures and I hope with Aurtistic it can be a bridge that fosters understanding and acceptance for those with neurological differences.
The content displayed here is submitted by various local authors, artists, and more, and is curated by the DSTL Arts Art Block Zine–Editorial Board. Works published here are done so with the permission of all artists involved. Artists hold all rights to their work, and none of it may be reproduced without their permission.