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a series of movements [Toronto]: a “c/krip” acknowledgement

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offering this text i developed as a ‘c/krip’ acknowledgement for iteration of “a series of movements”  most recently presented at 7a*11d’s 2018 International Festival of Performance Art in Toronto, Canada…with thanks to curator Golboo Amani and ASL interpreter Tala Jalili for their further questions, reflections and reading of this acknowledgement, and a shout out to black disabled activist, writer Leroy Moore  who uses “krip” instead of “crip” in relation to naming/reclaiming of the term by select disability identified folx.

this acknowledgement also includes text used for a statement on access developed some years ago for 2016 Hemispheric Institute Encuentro in Santiago, Chile.

image of Barak in wheelchair inside of theatre by Henry Chan, courtesy of 7a*11d.

“Aligned with the acknowledgement of indigenous folx, their distinct traditions and ongoing care for the land we reside on, the essential actions we must take to undo the colonial practices that perpetuate the erasure of indigenous folx’ profound contributions to the planet….

This is an affirmation of a diversity of bodies. Disabled bodies, politically crip, chronically ill, sick, spoonie, Mad, Deaf,  DDBDDHHLD [Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing, Late Deafened], interdimensional, neurodivergent, non visual learners…Folx who culturally may not identify as “disabled” but whose bodies are truly welcomed in spaces that are barrier free, sign language friendly, scent reduced, trigger reduced, low lit or well lit, relaxed, sensory friendly….with wayfinding  and haptic technology, centralized seating for wheels, scoots, crutches, walkers, canes, caregivers, companions, service animals, overflowing emotions…and alternate areas to occupy or roam when desired.  Spaces fluid and responsive.  Spaces where interdependence is never questioned but embraced. 

Communal spaces are created and we are thoughtfully invited. We ask the question: is it accessible? and we get “grandfathered” – patriarchy, colonialism and history converging to reinforce ableism and its architectural legacies of structural inequity.  How to move within a space and architecture that is not always built with our bodies in mind, is a continuing conscious navigation of humanity. This is an acknowledgement of the ways our bodies negotiate the spaces with labour, effort, finesse and grace.

WE are disabled among other identifiers that have meaning to OURSELVES and the communities we interact with and love. and when WE ask the question about access, it’s not just about OUR disability but the expanse… the invitation, welcoming anyone who’s desiring to be present for the experience of engaging with art and each other.

In navigating [a series of movements], You as a witness are welcome to also move, to sit, to be on two feet or bring a chair into the space…. to explore your own series of movements through the space within the theatre that Barak will be moving, responding to where you desire to be to view the body’s moments,  or to take a moment to be in the gallery space.  When you are viewing, we ask you to consider that you are in a space with bodies of various heights and with various potential desires to be seated, to be lower or higher in viewing. A space where some folx will be communicated to through sign, through gestures, where they may tune in with quietude or vocally respond…You are in a space with a diversity of bodies. “+++

+++ please do not use this acknowledgement without permission.

image of Barak facing set of stairs outside of theatre by Henry Chan, courtesy of 7a*11d.


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