Rest in Power, Susan Nussbaum
Actor, playwright, author, and activist Susan Nussbaum joined her ancestors last week. Rick Kogan’s obituary in the Chicago Tribune tells the stories of how Nussbaum brought disability to the stage. Her work will continue to teach us how to use artistry to tell the truth about disability politics. Her award-winning 2013 novel Good Kings, Bad Kings, about a group of disabled teenagers living in a Chicago residential facility, is being developed into a Netflix series by Crip Camp filmmaker Jim LeBrecht.
SCOTUS Leak & Disability
News of the likelihood that Roe v. Wade will be overturned in the coming weeks has sent discussion of abortion into overdrive across the U.S. The conversation tends to miss the many ways that disability, ableism, and eugenics are key parts of the issue. Here are a few:
As the Center for American Progress reported in a recent publication, “Disability-selective abortions, which are based on a diagnosis of disability before birth, are fueled in part by eugenics—with ableist assumptions about disability and lifespan, quality of life, and the ‘desirability’ of raising a disabled child, among others.”
Disabled people have routinely been denied access to contraceptives regardless of supposed legal protections. And there are no morning after pills that work for people over 195 lbs.
Histories of forced sterilization continue to limit the autonomy of disabled people in family-planning.
The Hyde Amendment, which prohibits Medicaid dollars from going toward abortion services, has a disproportionately large impact on disabled people’s access to necessary abortion services.
From Shannon Finnegan: “The postcard for the show with my name, the title of the show which is “Slower,” the exhibition dates May 7 to June 17 [at Deborah Schamoni in Munich, with an exhibition essay by Amalle Dublon], and that the opening is May 6 from 6 to 9. The image is my feet resting on the cushion of a chaise lounge that I made and will be in the show. The painted text is blocked by my legs but the word “lounge” is still readable.”
Linday Adams’s Two Things Can Be True, open through Oct. 14th at the Eaton DC, features the artist’s reckonings with race and disability through still-life and floral oil paintings.
Disabled Pasifika artists Pati Umaga & Pelenakeke Brown will lead 2 new initiatives with Creative New Zealand to increase support for disabled artists in Aotearoa, so-called New Zealand: a collaborative digital music project and a collaborative virtual performance with Yo-Yo Lin about indigeneity, “cripness,” and COVID.
Jerron Herman’s Vitruvian, “an allegorical tale of the life cycle of the Vitruvian man as he traverses several hemispheres,” premieres at Abrons Arts Center May 19-21 and will be streaming on-demand from July 6-30.
Commoning Accessibility – “information and tips on grassroots, mixed-ability accessibility organizing, assembled and written by Staci Bu Shea (with many, many others), design and images by Lotte Lara Schröder” – has been published by the Casco Art Institute.
The Queens Theatre’s Forward Festival of the Arts – featuring performances and presentations by Omnium Circus, Phamaly Theatre Company (Denver, CO), Full Radius Dance (Atlanta, GA), and composer Molly Joyce – begins this week on May 13th.
Breadth of Bodies: Discussing Disability in Dance by Emmaly Wiederholt & Silva Laukkanen, illustrated by Liz Brent-Maldonado, is out, published by Stance on Dance.
e-flux has published a 20-essay project called Sick Architecture, including “Disabling Form” by David Gissen, adapted from his forthcoming book The Architecture of Disability: Buildings, Cities, and Landscapes Beyond Access.
Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez is a guest choreographer in Battery Dance’s new dance works inspired by Hans Hofmann. Performances May 19th & 20th at the Schimmel Center in Manhattan.
Deinstitutionalization in South Korea
In a televised debate on April 13th with Park Kyeong-seok of the group Solidarity against Disability Discrimination, People Power Party leader Lee Jun-seok said living in an institution was a “matter of choice.” The remark reveals common problems with public opinion data-gathering among disabled people and abled myths about choice and independence.
Climate Change & Disability
Áine Kelly-Costello offers essential critique of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) new report, “Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” in Peter Torres Fremlin’s Disability Debrief Substack:
And check out the follow-up interview with Dr. Emma Geen, an organizer of disabled-led climate planning in Bristol, England:
The NYSCA/NYFA Artists with Disabilities Grant program will distribute cash grants of $1,000 to artists with a disability who have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis to cover art related expenses. The grant will be open to visual, media, music, performing, literary, and multidisciplinary artists who live in New York State outside of the five boroughs of NYC.
The REV UP Voting Campaign at the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is accepting applications for the Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Program. Designed for young (ages 18 – 30) Black disabled advocates who are committed to boosting voter registration and civic engagement across Black communities leading up to the 2022 elections and beyond, this program will take place from June 13th to August 12th with weekly virtual gatherings and political educations. Participants will receive a $1,500 stipend and will have the opportunity to create voter engagement materials and content.
As part of curriculum development for the NYC Civil Rights History Project, organizers are requesting 1st Person Disability Reflections to include in a lesson plan, What is Disability? They will have an open Zoom Room on Thursday, May 12th from 4-6 pm ET. RSVP to Maria Guarino at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Journal for Literary and Cultural Disability Studies seeks essays for a special issue, “Invitation to Dance: Performing Disability Politics through the Dancing Body,” edited by Stefan Sunandan Honisch & Gili Hammer. Email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org for the full CFP.
Healing/Arts will present a “writing-based workshop centered on reproductive rights, reproductive health, and loss” facilitated by Elizabeth Walker, Maria Novotny, and Robin Silbergleid of The ART of Infertility on Thursday, May 12th at 1pm PT/4pm ET/9pm BST. RSVP here.
Brooklyn Arts Exchange will present channels v1 by Yo-Yo Lin in-person in Brooklyn and streamed remotely on Saturday, May 14th at 7pm ET. Tickets here.
UCLA will present “Representing Disability After CODA” featuring Vicky Lewis, Leroy Moore, Stephanie Lim, moderated by Elizabeth Guffey and Hans Vermy on Friday, May 13th from 11:30am – 12:30pm PT in-person and recording available after. Register here.
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