I was so inspired by this TED talk that I had to share it with you all.
Sue Austin is a multimedia, performance and installation artist who lost the use of her legs due to an illness.
A new world opened up for Austin when she received her powered wheelchair, yet she was disheartened by the way other people looked at her. She says it was as if she had an “invisibility cloak” draped over her; that when people looked at her, they saw only their own preconceptions about what life in a wheelchair must be like.
To always be regarded with this combination of fear and pity was hard on Austin.
“I realized I’d internalized these responses, and it had changed who I was on a core level. A part of me had become alienated from myself. I was seeing myself, not from my perspective, but vividly and continuously from the perspective of other people’s responses to me.
As a result, I knew I needed to make my own stories about this experience; new narratives to reclaim my identity.”
She began to explore the ways in which she could use art to challenge people’s ideas about life in a wheelchair. The results were absolutely stunning.
Check it out– you’ll see what I mean.
P.S. The format of the video turned out a little bit strange here (thanks a lot, WordPress). I recommend either expanding it to full-screen, or else watching the original in its intended format on the TED website. Sorry about that!
You can also check out Sue Austin’s website at http://www.susanaustin.co.uk/