Friday, September 30, 2005

Desirably disabled

I like to think of myself as a hard liner social model activist when it comes to disability; the notion of disability is one in which I feel most comfortable and genuine speaking of in an academic and political context. I definitely don't like to euphamize it or inspirationalize it.

Temple MFA student Shelley Barry, award winning filmmaker on disability, and an international disability rights activist, presented her most recent work last night to my graduate Disability Rights and Culture course. Over the course of the film screening and discussion I became thoroughly convinced that disability is also a bodily and experiential phenomenon of beauty: a hardcore and erotic at that. She symbolically portrayed in film her experience of physical impairment and socially constructed disability, as it adorned and informed her many identities. What an experience! Everyone in the class had their senses stimulated; at the same time many felt serenely serenaded with feelings of peaceful coherence.

Shelley Barry's 20 minute docu-poem entitled "Whole: A Trilogy of Being" is available for purchase on DVD by contacting the filmmaker at Don't look for mere inspiration or encouragement. This raw and provocative video offer glimpses of how one's mind, body and soul might reach new planes of aesthetic and sensuous appreciation!

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