News Culture Comment Video



Making light of anorexia

Wednesday 13th August 2014

The eating disorder anorexia is seldom spoken about honestly and accurately in popular culture – and in fact, many portrayals can cause more harm than good if they stray into the territory of romanticising eating disorders, or acting as a how-to guide for other sufferers.

While visiting this year’s Edinburgh Festival, Radio New Zealand producer Charlotte Graham spoke to two artists whose work taps into the most vulnerable and truthful parts of their own suffering to create work that they hope will help in the healing process – for themselves and for others.

Photo: Katie Green


Dave Chawner is a London-based stand-up comedian whose Edinburgh Festival Fringe show Over It explores the laugh-out-loud funny parts of his illness. He has won an award from the British eating disorder charity, Beat for his innovative work in raising awareness of the issue. Watch an early preview of Dave’s eventual Edinburgh Fringe stand-up show.




Katie Green is an illustrator and author living in the South West of England. Her graphic memoir Lighter Than My Shadow describes, in painstaking detail, her decline into and climb out of anorexia and abuse.  She also self-publishes a zine called The Green Bean, which has subscribers around the world.




Dave and Katie explain to Radio New Zealand producer Charlotte Graham how they’ve managed to approach anorexia creatively.

If you need help for yourself or someone else, you can contact the Eating Disorders Association of New Zealand, or call Lifeline on 0800 543 354.

Charlotte Graham is in Edinburgh with assistance from Creative New Zealand.

Join the discussion »

Login to post a comment

Login or Signup


In accordance with our Comments Policy, all comments are moderated before they appear on the site. This happens 7am to 7pm each weekday.

Charlotte Graham-McLay is a journalist who lives in Wellington. Her writing appears in the New York Times, New Zealand Geographic, and on Vice, The Spinoff, and, and she can sometimes be heard on RNZ.
Join the discussion

Discuss, comment and read comments about this article.