Disability and the Politics of Visibility
‘I want to ask a lot of questions to a world that doesn’t see me when I want to be part of the world, and sees me, a disabled person, just to hate or pity me. It is hard to live or fit into a world that doesn’t love you, that wants to erase you, sometimes wants to hurt you… My piece is my comeback to that.’ Dolly Sen is a disabled, working-class queer who has a brain of ill-repute that wants to disrupt systems that hurt people. Because of this she is a writer, artist, performer and filmmaker
In ‘Sawubona’, Cheryl Martin talks about being a visible minority with a hidden disability, and how she created solo stage shows to bring the voice of someone with lifelong mental health disabilities to the stage [rather than be talked about in shows by those who have to “deal” with people like her], and to let others like her know that their future can be different from their past.
How can we move beyond a division based on ‘visibility’ to acknowledge and develop a solidarity that recognises the complexities, interdependencies, and constantly changing perceptions of ourselves and our community? Jamie Hale is a queer / crip artist, curator, poet, writer, playwright, actor, facilitator, trainer and director – otherwise known as ‘busy’, ‘interdisciplinary’, or ‘indecisive’.
The artist, Hello Little Lady, invites you into a stream of consciousness that attempts to make sense of the conflicting narratives she faces while navigating the prejudice, indifference and intolerance from everyday stares, sniggers and sneers she experiences as a visibly disabled person with a rare form of Dwarfism.