If you’ve been reading Where’s Lulu for awhile, you know that our favorite podcast, disability-related or not, is the BBC’s Ouch! We were pretty much obsessed upon first listen.
So we’ve been ecstatically texting back and forth, because we just heard that the public service announcement Caitlin, Andrew, and (friend and recent Where’s Lulu interviewee) Cheryl Green made last year, Your Daily Dosage of Inspiration, was featured on the latest show!
Here’s the PSA, again, in case you missed it:
As per usual, the whole podcast is worth listening to, but the “inspirational” segment starts around the 38-minute mark if you JUST CAN’T WAIT. Listen here: http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-ouch-26532955
UGH OMG YAY SO COOL
[Image Description: Cheryl Green on a Tarot Deck for ‘the fool’ card. She wears a flowing green dress, standing against a sunny backdrop of Portland buildings and signs. A small white dog gazes up at her. ]
First and foremost, how do you define disability?
Defining disability is a complex task, and I like that. Capitalism and the medical model would like to think they’ve got a good definition: someone who’s broken, who’s not as productive or valuable as a “normal” or “typical” person and therefore needs fixing (or pity and charity!). I kind of reject that. They’re not really worthwhile ways to look at something that many people see as a meaningful part of their identity.
Did you take a bow in 2013? Where’s Lulu friend and confidante Louise Hickman sent us this note about a yearly listing of performances you can be a part of (think dance, poetry, theater, but also translation and disability studies). They’re looking to add more disability-related performances to the next one. The deadline is January 15.
I have been kindly invited by the Emergency INDEX team, a group of collaborators working to index performances on an annual basis, to expand the presence of disability and related themes into the Index’s repertoire of documented performances. As a contributing editor for this upcoming edition, I am working towards increasing the visibility of artworks produced both by disabled artists and works that are generated around themes of disability within this particular anthology.
I own both the 2011 and 2012 editions of the Emergency Index anthologies – it is an impressive compendium of works. I greatly encourage members of all communities to submit to the upcoming edition. Please share this opportunity widely to ensure that the Index represents a diverse range of work. Please feel free to contact me for further information for this exciting opportunity.
Please note that the deadline for submissions of performance work closes on January 15th, 2014. Share widely and apply today! Further information is stated below:
Emergency INDEX is an annual 500+ page volume documenting hundreds of performance works from all over the world and from genres as diverse as dance, game studies, visual art, music, poetry, activism, advertising, medical and scientific research, philosophy, theater, translation, therapy, data visualization, disability studies, community art and many more. Every year, Emergency INDEX invites authors (artists, researchers, advertisers, activists, etc.) to document performances they made in the previous year, and asks them to document the work in their own words. By including performances regardless of their country of origin, their genre, aims, or popularity, INDEX is the only print publication of its kind, revealing a breathtaking variety of practices used in performance as it actually exists today. Submissions are now open for the third volume, documenting works made in 2013. Look at the website for examples from previous volumes and for information on how to submit: www.emergencyindex.com. The deadline is January 15th, 2014. We especially welcome submissions from genres outside performance art and theater/dance.
Sins Invalid is a “disability justice based performance project that celebrates the power of disability, embodiment & sexuality to offer a vision of beauty that includes all bodies and communities.” But you probably already knew that. The revolutionary Sins has been receiving plenty of accolades and press coverage recently as they prepare for their Crip Soiree & Speakeasy on October 11 and 12 in Oakland. Sins is well-known for their thought-provoking, radical, multidisciplinary performances centering disabled artists of color, queer and gender variant artists. Due to the popularity of the visionary, sexy shows, which Sins co-founder and director Patty Berne refers to as “a praxis of disability justice,” the project wanted to get their political and cultural message across to audiences outside of the Bay area. Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, Sins was able to document performances, behind the scenes footage and artist interviews in their eponymous, 32 minute film, which will be making its US preview next month. (If you’re lucky enough to live in Osaka, Japan you may have already seen the film when it premiered at the Kansai Queer Film Festival a couple of weeks ago, which Patty wrote about here). To celebrate the documentary, Sins Invalid is throwing a kickoff party at their Crip Soiree, featuring pre-film performances by artists Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Nomy Lamm, Maria R. Palacios, seeley quest and Leroy Moore Jr. But it’s more than just a party. “It’s a party with a program,” says film director and Sins director Patty Berne. “We wanted to do something to celebrate the film’s release. It’s been a long buildup. We started the process for developing a film in 2007 and we wanted something that was more interactive. Typically with the performances there’s not a lot of engagement between the artists and the audience -certainly there is energetically- but it’s not really where people hang out with the artists. So we wanted something where people could mingle, so the idea is a crip soiree and speakeasy because we want to introduce some of the people in the film and really highlight the film itself.”
You can find out more information on the Crip Soiree facebook page and purchase tickets to the event here. As Sins writes, the film “promises to be a paradigm shifting experience as it reveals crip eroticism at its finest.” What more do you want?
Disabled Portland artist Lavaun Heaster has just launched a Kickstarter for her fabulous 2014 calendar! Lavaun is well-known for her vibrant, accessible art pieces celebrating diverse cultures and centering marginalized communities. Having limited vision and finding blind and low vision persons excluded in the art world, Lavaun began experimenting with various textures in her pieces. Eventually she realized that papercuts as a medium worked exceptionally well, allowing for an alternative approach to experiencing her artwork. “Even if a low or no vision individual never touches one of my papercuts, I want others to think about the fact that what is traditionally seen as a visual experience can be accessible by creating tactile work,” she says. Lavaun often highlights people with disabilities in her art, as seen in her piece “Blooms,” which illuminates the beauty possible in living with impairment. The image “came from this notion I had about showing a wheelchair as a nest/home/support for a living growing thing of beauty. I wanted to do something and saw this flower growing from the seat in a garden. I had also being thinking about using white canes as structural support in a piece and Blooms was born.” The artist draws on many different influences as well as intuition, noting she’s “inspired by the invisible stories of being multi-ethnic, a person with a disability, loving someone of the same sex, being trans* and people of differences coming together. I have learned to wait for a vision to come which then leads the work and the feel of the paper influences the piece.”
I did a short interview with the wonderful Bitch Media yesterday all about Criptiques. It was a nice opportunity to give more background on the project, brag a bit about our contributors, and emphasize why this project is so necessary. Here’s a snippet:
Why should nondisabled people get behind Criptiques?
There’s a million reasons. First off, the book is really interesting, regardless of your disability status—you don’t have to be disabled to read this or support it. I really want nondisabled people to read it because they need to! There’s so many misconceptions about disability—people who have never experienced it or don’t have any disabled friends or family tend to find the reality/normalcy of our lives pretty shocking. And a lot of people have failed to connect the dots that disabled people are an oppressed, social group. They have no idea how deeply entrenched ableism is in our culture. And this extends to activist and feminist circles. So I think Criptiques goes a long way in helping to make that reality visible for people, because the writers are speaking from their own experiences. They can give you that perspective that is so often ignored. Just like how I expect allies to educate themselves on racism, sexism, queerphobia, transphobia, etc., I also expect nondisabled alliles to educate themselves on ableism and issues affecting people with disabilities and recognize how these oppressions are interconnected. And a fun method of doing that is by supporting this book.