Workshop: Stolen Bodies, Reclaimed Bodies

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 8:30 AM-10:20 AM
Room: 417
WG03 Visual Sociology (host committee)

Language: English

Project Re•Vision is a Canadian Institute for Health Research funded research project that uses arts-based research methods (digital storytelling and drama workshops) to dismantle stereotypical understandings of disability and difference that create barriers to healthcare. We have completed two years of our project and have generated an impressive archive of over 70 digital stories from people living disabilities and differences and healthcare providers. The project emerges from a representational history of disabled people can largely be characterized as one of being put on display or hidden away. People living with disabilities and differences have been, and continue to be, displayed in freak shows, medical journals, charity campaigns, and as evil or pitiable tropes in novels and films. At the same time, disabled bodies have also been hidden in institutions, hospitals, group homes, and generally removed from the public eye. In his essay from which we borrow our title, Eli Clare writes, “Just as the disabled body has been stolen, it has also been reclaimed” (2001). In our proposed session, we screen and analyze a selection of digital stories on visible and invisible differences made through Project Re•Vision. We examine the ways bodies and experiences of difference are reclaimed in these films, which reveal the complexities—the pride, shame, pains, struggles for rights and wellness, and joys of community—of living with disability and difference. By pairing and sharing stories made by individuals and health providers on experiences of and encounters with disability and difference, we examine how our project helps to burr boundaries and breakdown barriers between the disabled and non-disabled worlds. The interweaving of these stories encourages reflection on how failure to fit with ablest standards of normal might open up other possibilities and deepen appreciation of the uncertainty and ambiguity that is the basis of life.
Session Organizers:
Carla RICE, University of Guelph, Canada and Jen RINALDI, University of Ontario, Canada
Workshop: Stolen Bodies, Reclaimed Bodies (Oral Presentation)
Carla RICE, University of Guelph, Canada; Eliza CHANDLER, University of Toronto, Canada; Elisabeth HARRISON, York University, Canada; Nadine CHANGFOOT, Trent University, Canada; Roxanne MYKITIUK, York University, Canada

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