Speaking for All Bodies (Not Just the “Perfect” Ones)
OTHER THAN POLITICS, 8 October 2012
by Sven Eberlein – YES! Magazine
In “Sins Invalid,” performance artists shatter stereotypes around sex and disabilities to reclaim the body’s redemptive power.
In this culture, there’s an aura of sin around our attitudes toward the body. Sex is dirty and disabilities are frightening. So who better to shatter stereotypes and show the redemptive power of reclaiming our bodies than a group of disabled artists who explore disability, sexuality, and social justice through edgy performance.
“We’re here to help reshape the political imagination of how the body can be experienced as beautiful regardless of whether or not it’s normative,” says Patty Berne, co-founder and director of “Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility.” Through sexually evocative poetry, spoken word, music, drama, and dance, “Sins” challenges the dominant notion of what it is to be able-bodied, as well as the identity politics that label people “disabled,” “person of color,” “queer,” or “trans.”
Antoine Hunter, who performs a dance about his struggles as a deaf man, says “Sins” has been transformative for artists and audiences alike. “Hearing people have come up to me after the performance and said it helped them understand their deaf friends. Deaf people have said it helped bring their hearing friends closer.”
“There is nothing like ‘Sins,’” says performer Maria R. Palacios, who says that taking part in the performance has changed her life. “It helps us expand our wings and rise above any obstacles.”
Sins Invalid the film premieres in October.
Sven Eberlein wrote this article for It’s Your Body, the Fall 2012 issue of YES! Magazine. Sven is a freelance writer living in San Francisco, with roots in Germany. He blogs at svenworld.com.
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 3.0 United States License.
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