By Derek Newman-Stille
As disabled folks, we’re written about continually. We’re formed by texts. We’ve been written about by our docs, by our colleges, by our therapists, by our flesh pressers…. We’ve been layered and layered with texts, and these texts are typically written by people who find themselves NOT US – individuals who contemplate themselves consultants on our experiences, who inform us that they’ve data that’s past our data of our personal our bodies and selves. Certainly, we even have to depend on these consultants to realize entry to areas and assets as disabled folks. We want governmental insurance policies to provide us rights we should always have as residents, we want medical docs’ studies to be thought-about disabled within the first place, and we want lodging kinds to get entry to high school assets. We aren’t solely became textual content, we’re made to DEPEND on textual content by different folks.
Even fiction is usually ABOUT US, written by people who find themselves abled and making an attempt to seize our experiences with out speaking to us. We get became tropes, into tales, into fictions… And we get instructed that these fictions symbolize us, and we get instructed by editors or publishers that our tales don’t “really feel genuine” as a result of they don’t match the tropes – they aren’t inspirational, they aren’t about overcoming, they aren’t about struggling, they aren’t about being lesser. Our tales are steadily rejected as a result of the tropes are much more highly effective than our voices.
That’s why I’m excited concerning the assortment Nothing With out Us – as a result of it centres our voices. It’s a assortment of Crip voices, disabled voices, about us expressing ourselves and never being talked about. It’s edited by two disabled folks – Cait Gordon and Talia Johnson. It’s printed by a disabled writer. And the way in which it’s shaping up, it seems like it is going to be an anthology that speaks again to all of these narratives, texts, and tales imposed on us disabled of us.
So, what does it imply to write down again? What does it imply for us to talk our personal tales, to inform our personal tales, to talk from the Crip physique and thoughts?
I take advantage of the time period “Crip” deliberately. I take advantage of it the identical manner as I take advantage of “Queer”, to talk again to a system that has sought to make use of these phrases to oppress us. “Crip” is a manner of reclaiming the language… nevertheless it isn’t simply one other phrase for “disabled”. It’s an intentional response to makes an attempt to pacify us via language. It’s a resistant phrase, a phrase made to disrupt, to problem, and to talk again. It’s meant to make folks gasp after which to consider why that phrase is used. I name myself a Queer Crip as a result of I don’t wish to conform. I don’t wish to be pacified by phrases as a result of so a lot of our techniques are based mostly on pacifying us with phrases. Phrases are so usually used to include us, to restrict us, and to render us Different. We wrestle with phrases as a result of they’re used to oppress. So, what occurs once we share that wrestling with phrases? What occurs once we inform our personal tales and inform the world that OUR WORDS HAVE POWER?
Nothing With out Us is a sophisticated engagement with our phrases. It’s shaping as much as be an anthology that lets us, as disabled folks, resist the confinements of hegemonic texts. It engages with realism as a result of we’ve had so many narratives written about us that declare reality… nevertheless it additionally engages with imaginatory texts, with speculative texts. It acknowledges the necessity for there to be an exploration of the creativeness, as a result of our guidelines, insurance policies, and concepts about incapacity are formed within the creativeness, within the minds that ponder what incapacity means.
Nothing With out Us is a multi-genre textual content as a result of, as disabled folks, our lives don’t simply match into one style and we bristle at containers or confines that attempt to think about us as just one factor.
Nothing With out Us is a resistant textual content, a set of tales that present a counter-narrative to narratives about us. It’s about us telling our personal tales and the ability of our personal tales to tear aside the tales and diagnoses and polices which have been written about us.
To find extra about Nothing With out Us, whose Kickstarter is going on proper now, try https://nothingwithoutusanthology.wordpress.com and help the kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/initiatives/renaissancebp/nothing-without-us?ref=ksr_email_user_new_friend_project&fbclid=IwAR2-S8WRjKGuogbKi6aXSo6kvcUcYiQu4KXPW4Z2o9T8bpKfz-szxHJR1KA