Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Sins Invalid-krips who inspire me!

People who inspire me, (in the true non-patronizing sense of the word), are the sins invalid crew, so I’m going to share some of what they are about and links to their website and youtube clips.

Where can I find them?

‘’We had to develop the look of a show which was simultaneously erotic and communicating resistant politics.’’
 ''As people with disabilities, we are not oppressed by what we can or cannot do with our bodies or minds. We are oppressed by the systemic prejudice, discrimination, segregation, and violence we face because we do not fall within a perceived “norm.”

What is Sins Invalid? 
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Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility

Sins Invalid is a performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized. Our performance work explores the themes of sexuality, embodiment and the disabled body. Conceived and led by disabled people of color, we develop and present cutting-edge work where normative paradigms of "normal" and "sexy" are challenged, offering instead a vision of beauty and sexuality inclusive of all individuals and communities.

We define disability broadly to include people with physical impairments, people who belong to a sensory minority, people with emotional disabilities, people with cognitive challenges, and those with chronic/severe illness. We understand the experience of disability to occur within any and all walks of life, with deeply felt connections to all communities impacted by the medicalization of their bodies, including trans, gender variant and intersex people, and others whose bodies do not conform to our culture(s)' notions of "normal" or "functional."


Our goals are to:
--Promote leadership opportunities for people with disabilities within our communities and within the broader social justice movement.
--Provide a supportive and politically engaged space for both emerging and established artists with disabilities to develop and present compelling works to a broad audience.

--Develop and present strong artistic work that explores sexuality and the non-normative body, integrating the full and multi-dimensional experiences of disabled artists who are also people of color and LGBTIQ, in order to represent all of our communities and challenge dominant misperceptions about people with disabilities.


--Offering political education workshops for community based organizations and other organizations that share our commitment to social justice principles as a means of integrating analysis and action around disability, race, gender, and sexuality.

--Presenting multidisciplinary performances (video, poetry, spoken word, music, drama, and dance) by people with disabilities for broad audiences in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere.

--Organizing performance workshops for community members with and without disabilities.
General Information


Sins Invalid recognizes that we will be liberated as whole beings – as disabled/as queer/as brown/as black/as genderqueer/as female- or male-bodied – as we are far greater whole than partitioned. We recognize that our allies emerge from many communities and that demographic identity alone does not determine one's commitment to liberation.

Sins Invalid is committed to social and economic justice for all people with disabilities – in lockdowns, in shelters, on the streets, visibly disabled, invisibly disabled, sensory minority, environmentally injured, psychiatric survivors – moving beyond individual legal rights to collective human rights.

Our stories, imbedded in analysis, offer paths from identity politics to unity amongst all oppressed people, laying a foundation for a collective claim of liberation and beauty.

A Sexy Crip Manifesto in Six Parts

Extract from Berne, P, 2008, Sins Invalid: Disability, Dancing, and Claiming Beauty in Solinger Fox, Irani (eds) Telling Stories to Change the World Teaching Learning Social Justice, Routledge, London.

Sins asks the question: have you ever been to an erotic event featuring people with disabilities?”, let’s take a look at the context in which we live. We know that our culture maintains embodied and enforced “norms,” norms that constrict all of us with unmet expectations and fears of the repercussion of not “measuring up.” Regardless of where we identify on the spectrum of sexuality, gender, size, ability, age, class, etc., the boundaries of our normalcy get policed. And when we transgress boundaries by having different abilities, gender
presentation, etc., we are at risk of social and economic alienation, hostility, threats to safety/violence, and the deepest acts of dehumanization—we become ‘they’,  othered.  

To bring the issue to the body, the definition of the “normal” body is becoming ever narrower, to the extent that even the natural process of growth and aging is seen as a problem to overcome. People with disabilities are often seen as “flawed” beings whose hope of normalcy rests in the “medical model’’.

The disability rights movement articulated another lens of viewing disability—the social model. With this view, we understand that the “problem” resides in sociopolitical and economic structures which exclude an array of people and abilities, and the solution is social and institutional change.

This should resound familiar with folks from a social justice perspective. But still let’s make sure we’re clear. Let’s say I go to a building which has stairs; my wheelchair does not climb stairs. Is the problem that I cannot walk up stairs? Or is the problem that the building owner and architect did not create a building which allows entrance to people with a variety of means of mobility?
Is the problem my body? Or is the problem being excluded because my body is different from the building owner’s?

As people with disabilities, we are not oppressed by what we can or cannot do with our bodies or minds. We are oppressed by the systemic prejudice, discrimination, segregation, and violence we face because we do not fall within a perceived “norm.”

Sins create a space where the non-normative body is centred and erotic. We challenge dominant notions of the disabled body and sexuality because we understand it is key to challenging the oppression of people with disabilities; moreover, our performers offer stories and visions affirming our strength as people with disabilities, creating beauty in which we are centred.

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