Smetje is a Dutch riso-print zine about germaphobia. Made by people with germaphobia, made for people with germaphobia. It’s also my graduation project from St. Joost School of Art and Design.
Germaphobia is the fear of germs and contamination. People who have it themselves often don’t fully understand it, let alone people who have no personal experience with it. Therefore explaining germaphobia is a challenge, because how do you do that when it can be so difficult to describe in words what you are feeling, thinking and seeing?
In Smetje I visualise what having germaphobia means, by using comparisons, metaphors and personal stories of people who experience it. I make it understandable – for people who have it themselves, but also for the people around them who want to understand their loved ones better.
By mixing tactile and digital techniques such as drypoint etching, Toyobo printing and risograph printing, the fears and the sensation of dirt become tangible. Experiencing the zine through the installation brings you even closer to the feelings that people with germaphobia face every day.
Are you interested in purchasing Smetje? It’s still available! No longer in the riso printed version, but in an equally beautiful edition. You can find my contact details via the about page.*
* The zine is only available in Dutch.