Get Fat Heffalump to NZ Fat Studies
My name is Kath and I'm an Australian fat activist. I blog over at Fat Heffalump and have been working to improve the quality of life for fat people around the world for over 7 years.
I have just been accepted to present a paper at the 2016 Fat Studies: Identity, Agency and Embodiment Conference, hosted by Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand. My paper is to be on the subject of the effects of the long term abuse and harassment fat people are subjected to, and the impact this has on the quality of life of fat people.
I am thrilled to be accepted again to present, particularly as I am a grassroots activist, rather than from an academic background. I believe that the voices of actual fat people on the front lines of our fight for our human rights are the most vital in Fat Studies. It is important for representation of actual fat people in an academic setting, so that our voices and realities are not lost in rhetoric.
As I will need to travel to New Zealand to present this paper, I am hoping to raise $1200 to cover my flights to and from, accommodation, and the cost of the conference itself (including flight/travel insurance). As I am not in academia I am not able to get funding from an educational institution, assistance from my employer or claim my expenses on my tax, so I could really use the help to cover my basic costs.
I have also run my activism and blog revenue free for over 7 years, and consider it a second unpaid job, at almost full time hours. Years of attending conferences, participating in activist events and working with the media, as well my actual writing has all been self funded, but with living costs escalating over the past years, I need some financial help this time to make it happen.
While also presenting my paper at the conference, I am hoping to be able to network with other activists and academics. I found this incredibly rewarding at previous Fat Studies conferences - Sydney in 2010 and Wellington in 2012 and have formed long term friendships and working relationships with many people through those events. You can read my papers from those conferences by following the links above.
I also intend to do a series of complimentary articles for my blog about the conference, and hope to engage the Australian media as well as media in New Zealand. The conference will also have an online registration option for those who wish to live-stream or on demand view the presentations, one of which will be mine.
The conference will be held on the 29th and 30th of June 2016 and I hope to have funds raised by the 30th of May.
The opportunity to be there amongst community and to represent every day fat people, in an academic setting that is literally about we fat people, means so much to me. I do what I do for fat people everywhere, and I will be incredibly grateful for any financial help that anyone can offer.
Several people have asked me to put up the goal total as they still wish to donate, so I have done so. Others asked if they can still donate, and the answer is an unequivocal yes! There are still other travel costs involved, and even once those are covered, I'm going to plough whatever is left back into my activism and writing.
If I can, I will look at running some kind of competition for a couple of online registrations to the conference so that people who might not otherwise be able to afford to, can get access to the livestream and downloadables.
Again, thank you so much to all of those who have donated, no matter how much, every one of you is amazing.
Now, a little housekeeping update, I have edited the target to $1500. This is because once I got signed up to everything, I realised that there is a currency conversion rate and fees on top of the amount I raise. So to adjust for those so that I can cover those costs as well and still make my target of flights, accommodation and cost of the conference itself.
Again, I am so grateful to all of the amazing people who have donated and supported so far. I cannot wait to get my teeth into this conference and be able to write about it and my experiences.