Bom Verkade COZY
Tauira / StudentBom Verkade
Kaiako / LecturersGeorge Hajian, Tatiana Tavares, Fleur Williams
SchoolAUT Art + Design
The adolescent years constitute a critical period for personal growth, learning, and self-exploration. However, the well-being of LGBTQ+ youth is constantly jeopardized by societal stigmas and a lack of support. Typically, adolescents are primarily influenced by their educational and familial environments. Therefore, family acceptance and LGBTQ+-specific school programs play a pivotal role in improving the well-being of LGBTQ+ youth. This highlights the significance of affirming and inclusive environments and interpersonal networks, as essential support systems for both the youth population and their communities. Moreover, the dearth of accurate representation or the misrepresentation of LGBTQ+ individuals in the media contributes to a sense of isolation among young people. The negative impact of this isolation on their self-esteem development manifests in various ways.
COZY is an annual publication dedicated to connecting LGBTQ+ youth with the community. Its establishment aims to facilitate the exploration of the community and foster self-acceptance among LGBTQIA+ youth. Issue one focuses on the vulnerabilities associated with coming out and the journey towards self-acceptance. The term "COZY" carries multiple meanings. Firstly, it signifies a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation. Secondly, it represents being at ease in one's own identity and feeling content with oneself.
The publication features a dust cover that envelops the contents, symbolizing a comforting embrace and reinforcing the concept of feeling "COZY." Designed with a minimalist textured paper stock, the dust cover conveys the idea that even though something may appear ordinary on the surface, its interior can be rich with vibrancy and colour.
Comprising six sections, or signatures, COZY presents diverse queer narratives through various forms of media. As readers embark on their journey through COZY, they encounter an array of poems, photographs, written pieces, films, and stories, creating a safe and nurturing environment for youth to explore. The distinct signature formats naturally differentiate the content, forming chapters that facilitate easy navigation. To enhance the tactile experience, each signature is associated with a different colour and paper stock.
Transitioning from a vibrant voyage of discovery, the reader is ultimately led to a simple letter. This deliberate shift encourages introspection and self-expression in whatever manner feels authentic to the individual. The letter, personally handwritten by the designer, serves as a unifying element for the entire concept of issue one. It provides inspirational words for the reader while establishing a connection from personal experiences, akin to a letter addressed to the reader’s younger self, creating a meaningful and intimate conclusion for the publication.