“Cripping the Arts,” a symposium co-organized by the University of Guelph’s Re•Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice held in Toronto last month, was featured in Canadian Art Magazine.
The symposium, which took place Jan. 24-26, took the definition of disability beyond the medical to the social experience to include those with chronic illness, mental difference, and anyone with a body or mind that has been marginalized in cultural and artistic spaces because of stereotyping and stigma.
The presentations, discussion panels and performances encouraged the recognition of disability as difference ripe with creative opportunity rather than limitation, and the different ways people with disabilities contribute to, create and experience culture and art.
The symposium was held in partnership with Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology and Access to Life, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada multi-year, multi-site research grant, whose principal investigator is Prof. Carla Rice, Canada Research Chair and Re•Vision founding director.
The symposium featured presentations by U of G researchers, including Rice, who co-presented on Relaxed Performance with Andrea LaMarre and Kayla Besse, and Vanessa Dion Fletcher, 2018 artist-in-residence for Bodies in Translation, whose performance piece “Finding Language: A Word Scavenger Hunt,” investigated the intersections between learning disability and Indigenous language translation/revitalization.
Led by Rice, Re•Vision is a creative research centre in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences. It uses arts-informed, community-engaged research methods to foster inclusive communities, well-being, equity and justice. The centre investigates the power of the arts, and especially story, to positively influence decision-makers, to build intersectional alliances and to imagine more just futures.