Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What is Disability?

Before I started this film project, I had to ask myself: What is disability? The medical field usually focuses on disability in terms of impairment due to a sickness - disability that leads to suffering and disadvantage. The medical model focuses on 'curing' the disability or the illness rather than looking at the social factors that people with disabilities face. Lately however, a new area called 'disability studies' has emerged. Disability studies starts where the medical model leaves off and looks into the oppression and discrimination that people with disabilities face.

My research for this film began with me thinking about my place as a filmmaker with a disability. Looking to the disability community and the artists producing within it has inspired me to produce this film about my experience during this time. I started my research by looking at other artists with disabilities, in order to understand their work within the art world.
I feel that within the disability community, art practice is a method of reflection, and is self-empowering. Like other minority groups such as cultural and racial minorities, women, and queer communities, people with disabilities have finally begun fight for equality within society. I hope that my film is one way to bring to light the struggles that people with disabilities have to face on a day-to-day basis.