Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Its not you that I dont trust...

My whole life I thought my parents have been very liberal with my sister and me. Letting us make are own decisions even as children and letting us watch horror movies at a young age and giving us a small glass of beer a birthdays Christmas and Easter.

But as an Adult I now see that I did not and still dont have the same freedom as my sister (who douse not have a disability). Now I do recognise that my parents though they were doing what was in my best intrest but now it seams to have stunted me in many ways.

My parents were always told that I would become more and more dependent on them as I got older it was though that by my 18th birthday I would be permanently in a wheelchair. And even though the doctors kept pushing me to use my wheelchair more I have continuously pushed back to not use it and I think this is why I am not bound to it today.
My parents took us traveling and gave us freedom of choice because they thought I would never get to experience these things as I got older. They always told me I was no different to the other children and that I had to speak up to be heard (I think they regret the speaking up part now)
So when they tried to join the short statured people of SA I did not understand why.... " I am normal and they are wired" I told them and when they asked me if I wanted to join I said No.... why they listened to me choice I do not really understand. They never had me participate and interact with other people with disabilities in any other activities. Leaving me now with the inability to feel connected with the disability community.... (which I know sounds odd)

But I also never got to go on school camps like my sister always did because the school was scared to have me on one and my parents thought they would have to be there for me..... I always wanted to go camp I hated that my sister got to do this exciting thing and that I had to stay home. However my sister hated camp and was jealous of me getting to stay home. She believed I got to spend lots of time with mum and dad and she wanted that attention. I think I didnt get quality time.. the time I had was running back and forth to doctors and physio etc I would of much rather been at camp making friends then have this so called quality time. As such I dont feel contected with others my age I struggle to make a contection when I always spent time with people much older with me then those my own age.

I think I have strayed a little off point... but not really I am trying to say that I did not get to spend time with people with disabilities or students and school. I had very few friends in fact a lot of the time I spent on my own at school, and those who you could say were my friends never invited me out because I was to much of a responsibility....
And this so called responsibility has followed me everywhere, I still dont get invited out because people see me as a hindrance....

I have developed a dependence on my parents... they have always told me that they will always be here to do things for me and take me out so I have this fear of doing things on my own....
It douse not help that my father has made it is goal in life to instill the fear of god in me about the evil world and how I am not safe.... Constantly telling me when I want to go out "Its not you that I dont trust its the other people, its dangerous out there" So I stay here where it is safe where I have only mum and dad who have now come to the realisation they are not getting any younger and can no longer run me around, but I dont have the life skills to do this for myself leaving us in between a rock and a hard place.

I struggle to connect to communities of people because its always been me mum dad and my sister ... I cant find where I fit in and have no strong bonds to any friends... those who I call friend I dont see and we dont go out but I know them and see them around occasionally.

So I decide to take a stand .... scaring my perents telling them I know they meant well but I feel toataly unprapered for the world I feel like I dont have the life skills to cope and that I need to feel like I have a choice and not like I have to ask permission..... or like I am taking sides when making a decision... so I decide I want to be able to do things on my own and this means even if you dont like it you dont get to say no...
And I want my car license.... Another one of my fathers hates he has always told me I can not drive I will never drive and even now as I try to study and get my L's he is always telling me its harder then you think your not tall enough your not strong enough.... Well good for you dad way to make me feel positive... I am so about to tell him where to stick his negative feedback...
Now I have so far failed twice on my give ways which at first did not bother me but now I am paranoid that I cant remember the book and I am scared I will never pass. and well dad just keeps harassing me to go back which is putting more unneeded stress on me.

I want to get away but I am terrified of independents I am scared of the other people who we dont trust....
Who the fuck are these people anyway! they are the imaginary people that every parent is scared of those who could harm your children.... Well dad the world may be filled with bad people and something bad could happen but you are still here and your 59 so I think I might just stand a chance....
Now if only I could find the confidence to step away from the curb and start exploring life and independence...

Douse this even make sense or have I wobbled on with many stories and just blurted out a whole lot of pent up stress.... well its always good to express oneself right....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

art & disability: new geographies of the body


Sonia Teuben, Simon Laherty, Small Metal Objects Sonia Teuben, Simon Laherty, Small Metal Objects
photo Jeff Busby
Since 1997, RealTime has displayed a strong commitment to the work of artists with disabilities, providing perspectives on disability offered by art. This archive highlight offers a snapshot of the landscape of disability arts in Australia from the RealTime archive, drawing attention to two central issues that become apparent when canvassing the body of work the magazine has produced about disability and art. First, disability arts practices consistently redefine and expand sensory catalogues of what it is to be human—offering new ways in which the experience of humanity can be felt. Second, writers face unique challenges when articulating these new geographies of humanity produced by artists working in the field.

the disability arts landscape

If we were to read disability arts in Australia as a body, the backbone would clearly be the work of Back to Back Theatre and Restless Dance Theatre, companies whose work demonstrates enduring excellence and global impact. Formed in 1987, Geelong-based Back to Back is Australia’s first professional performing arts company for people with disabilities. Their acclaimed work has toured nationally and internationally making the most significant global impact of the disability arts companies in Australia. Experiments with staging (Food Court), sound (Small Metal Objects), explorations of the audience-performer relationship (Small Metal Objects again) and a remarkable intellectual curiosity (Soft) are some of the hallmarks of Back to Back productions. Thematically, their catalogue features explorations of the body, love, sex, self-perception and space.

Next of Kin, Restless Dance Theatre Next of Kin, Restless Dance Theatre
photo Chris Herzfeld
Adelaide-based Restless Dance Theatre is a slightly younger company with a central performance ensemble of young disabled and non-disabled dancers aged 15 to 26. Restless also has a touring company, with dancers and collaborators engaged on a professional basis to make works for touring nationally and internationally. Since 1991 Restless has explored issues of independence (Safe From Harm, Rebel Rebel), and intimacy (Bedroom Dancing, The Heart of Another Is a Dark Forest) while consistently expanding dance theatre (Unspoken Outloud) as a form.

Other notable contributions to disability arts in Australia include the work of Melbourne's Rawcus and Adelaide-based No Strings Attached, along with the significant presentation of works by other artists and companies at festivals such as Wataboshi, High Beam and Art of Difference, which bring disabled artists together as a community.

finding the words

Disability arts practices often act as a compass that maps radical articulations of humanity. These mappings offer ways of rethinking and feeling cultural spaces of culture typically outside of the mainstream. While these sensory explorations are the work of the largely very accomplished artists, their practices demand other kinds of work for writers and audiences. This is the labour of adequately expressing new sensations in relation to cultural forms and professional practices. Reading the back catalogue of writing about disability and art in RealTime, there are moments where new philosophies of arts practice are articulated in synergistic journalism (RT22; RT53) and inspired intellectual offerings are made in response to live art (RT82). At other points, disability acts as a fault line on which writers stumble and which they conceptually struggle to cross.

In this way, disability and art come together to pose two challenges. The first of these is the call for audiences to feel anew and, in so doing, to brave unique sensations. Dominant tropes of disability representation continue to haunt the work of artists with disabilities, writers and the experiences of disabled people—namely, the freak show (RT62) and disability as other. But these well-worn notions are challenged by the work of many artists (RT22) and writers (RT69) who are able to offer new ways of putting disability politics into print.

The second challenge posed by the union of disability and art is exactly this call for journalists and industry professionals to journey into thought in order to offer words that do some kind of justice to the material cartographies created through enmeshments of disability and art. In his book S/Z, French semiologist and cultural theorist Roland Barthes famously characterised a “writerly text” as one which “is ourselves writing, before the infinite play of the world is traversed, intersected, stopped, plasticized by some singular system (Ideology, Genus, Criticism) which reduces the plurality of entrances, the opening of networks, the infinity of languages” (Paris: Seuil, 1970). For Barthes, reading such work should not be “a parasitical act, the reactive complement of a writing," but rather a “form of work.” In rising to understand the moments in which writers adequately express sensations of disability art in words, it is exactly this form of work in which we, as readers, must learn to engage.
Anna Hickey-Moody

Disability and sex; the last taboo?


The Angry Cripple Column
ABC Disability 11 May 2011

WARNING: This article contains sexual references and is recommended for mature audiences.

Today's Angry Cripple column is brought to you by Simon J. Green.

Cripples have sex.

That's what I discovered the other week when I published an article for US-based online lit journal The Nervous Breakdown. In the article, I explained that I'm technically a cripple, and that I've also had sex. I wrote:

"I have cystic fibrosis, a chronic genetic disease. We who are disabled strive for a life as close to normal as our respective maladies allow. A normal part of life is sex. The beast with two backs, or rather, the beast with two backs but one of them suffered a severed nerve, became paraplegic and is now dragged along by the more able back. The horizontal rumba, or maybe more of a hokey pokey that requires a little sit down to catch breath between shaking it all about."

I asked readers if they'd be interested in hearing the war stories of people with disabilities, diseases and acquired injuries, who might talk frankly about their sex lives. Ideally they'd represent a mix of perspectives: gay, straight, legless, half-brained, chromosomally challenged, right down to mutants like me. We'd talk about the unique obstacles blocking our way to the squishy palace:

* What part does a stump play in lovemaking?

* If you can only feel one half of your body, can you only feel one half of your peen? Only feel one plip*?

* Does the location and size of the tumour dictate the sexual position?

To get the ballsack rolling, I even shared a bit of my own tragic sexual history:

"For instance, there's no greater turn on than when you're really gliding that schooner home to port, and suddenly a great, panic-inducing thoracic shut down has me going immediately soft and reduced to a clump of coughing, gagging, gasping purple. When I tell a girl what I like in bed, I make sure to include, 'Being able to rub my back and run to get a glass of water while I fail to breathe, tears streaming down my face from the sheer shock of it all.

"Sexual congress doesn't matter much anyway, because one of the delightful side effects of cystic fibrosis is infertility. Even if I were to ride an oxygen bottle all the way to ejaculation, my payload would be a dud. On the up-side, in a stable long-term relationship I don't need to worry about a condom to avoid accidents.

"On the down-side, it was my nana who took me to the fertility clinic to confirm I shoot blanks. It was really quite sweet. We both knew what was going on. At the desk, Nana helped me fill in the obvious bits of the form, then suddenly found an interesting magazine when I had to describe my sex life. Once I was ready, she checked to see if I was OK, then said she'd be just outside if I needed anything. I really, really doubted I would."

What followed in the comments section was a delightfully encouraging response. People were fascinated by this world that's always been here, but under the pressing weight of awareness, treatment and cures, is smothered out of disability discussions.

Together, we envisioned an honest conversation, full of laughter due to the always hilarious nature of sex enhanced by leg braces, missing limbs, deflated organs and panic. Normals ('normies' or 'reggos'), were both supportive and curious. One sensible commenter cautioned that we don't veer off into blatant titillation, fetishism and voyeurism.

We respectfully discussed the caution, admitting that in these sorts of chats, inevitably we're filling up spank banks, but that that needn't reduce the serious side of understanding and releasing.

People also shared links. There was one about sexual surrogacy in which a polio-twisted chap worked with a shrink-who-sexes in order to overcome crippling self-esteem issues.

Another had Christopher Reeve giving sex tips for the wheelchair bound from beyond the grave. I was made aware of two organisations set up to work with these sorts of issues: Touching Base, an advocacy group for sex workers and disability-accessible sex; and the spoon theory, the best way to describe less visually obvious diseases.

Bringing this subject into the light is one of the nicest things I've been a part of. I'll wrap up with my final words from the article:

"Why, like my sputum, aren't these stories brought up more? Disease, death and decay are awkward subjects and though charities and not-for-profits try to raise awareness about the maladies themselves, they often struggle to fully humanise their clients.

"I think audiences love to hear about the disgusting, stupid, silly parts of sex. It's funny and interesting and we feel that brief catharsis that comes from talking about something we all experience, but keep quiet. Add the extra dimension of cripples and the handicapped and you've got a warm, sad, but mostly funny perspective on a shared experience."

Let's discuss sex with our disabled friends and family more. Odds are you'll either suffer a malady or be a carer for one at some point in your life. Wouldn't you like to know what to look forward to?

Simon J. Green is a Melbourne producer and writer. He has cystic fibrosis and all his limbs. Reach out to him at simonjgreen.com.

The original article and its comments can be found at The Nervous Breakdown, www.thenervousbreakdown.com.

The Angry Cripple column is published by The Punch. We republish it here because we think you might be interested. They're super nice for letting us do so.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Nothing like a little healthy debate... lol

So there is a story behind this post that you need before you can fully understand why this came about.

I was on facebook posting information about my exhibition up on the walls of arts and disability organisations. When I was on the facebook page for the Dont DISS my ABILITY campaign there was a number of post form a person who I will refer to as Miss Black but you can easily go on to this facebook page and see for yourself...lol
Miss Black had been for a number of weeks holding a so called protest about this service tho she cant explain what exactly for and why. I decided to make a comment on one of her post knowing to well that she would target me back and that I had just posted the link to my work up. Bellow is the debate I had with her about my work...

My Post:

Male Female Disabled an exhibition that challenges societies perception of people with disabilities and the use of disabalist language.
Currently showing during the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
For more information and to view and order images please visit
Your feedback is welcome no matter what your opinion :-)

Miss Black


You state, "I would also like to worn you that some people may find some of the pieces offensive or rude, please understand that this work is meant to create a shock impact be it positive or negative."

Your English is faulty here al...so, it should be 'warn' not 'worn'. And I am wondering why you consider it ok for you to make provocative pieces but not ok for me to do the same? It looks like double standards to me or do you also "have a big chip?"

Why are cashing in on disability to gain attention for your art? Did you receive funding for this?

Angela Kara:

I think its sad that you have to pick on my faulty english that this is the first thing you saw and felt it necessary to target me on it. But if that makes you feel like a bigger person that is fine.

I am picking on societies perception of p...eople with disabilities and the language we use to describe those with disabilities.

You are picking on an already under funded service and trying to use up any time they have on your trivial personal vendetta.

Have you not been around the arts sector or disability arts sector before. Everyone uses there experiences to create there are be it race, education, language, death, love even so called trivial experience. Why should I not use my disability to express myself. and if I get some money for my work is that a bad thing.
I have never profited from my work and resent the fact that you think I dont have the right to make money from my work.
I have never used my disability in fact I have been an exhibiting artist for 4 years and have never used my disability never applied for funding. This is the first time I have used my disability and I have had been holding of on creating this work for years. I have many people push me to create this and I am proud of being able to express myself in this way.

I did not receive any funding for this exhibition and never apply for any all self funded and if you read the page I am actual donating money to a disability service in SA.

Blakk be part of the solution not the problem...

Miss Black:

Looking at your exhibition I can only hope that it was not subsidised by a government grant, ie another waste of taxpayer's funds. One of my objections is to able bodied persons using funding that would be better spent providing real concrete assistance instead of using disability as an advertising technique. If you are not seriously disabled yourself ie with a broken fcking spine then you have no business entering this debate. And for the record, the work is very derivative of Kruger. Nothing original here.

Angela Kara:

OMG you have a serious problem... why would I create work that is about my experience with disability if I didnt have a disability.... that would be ridiculously inappropriate.

If you bothered to read my web page you would understand that my work comes from my disability and that its about society.

Its sad that you feel such resentment toward the world and feel the need to target me.

The government is waiting there money on such things as a tram line new football oval taking away funds from hospitals and your biggest issue is they might have given me money that would of been a waste of funds... PRIORITIES ......

So me attempting to educate society about disabalist language and there treatment of people with disabilities is a bad idea.... is that what your saying? Or you dont approve of the way I chose to get my message across? Maybe an angry letter or harassing disability services on facebook might of been a better way.

I think our government is underfunding the disability sector and am disappointed in them just as much as you.

Thanks for your feedback though your the first person who assumed I must be able bodied and that had 'negative' feedback for me.

Angela Kara:

Whats your Disability? and what services do you use?

Angela Kara

Oh and if you had bothered to read my web page and not just look at the pictures you would of seen that Kruger was my main inspiration to my work and if you knew anything about Kruger you would also know that she uses vintage images in her ...work and her text is opposite colours to what I use.
And I would also like to add that there are no original ideas that anything you can think of has been thought of before...
Everything you are targeting me on here could of easily been answered if you had just read web sight ...

So I find this conversation just amusing she has no real point and all her protest on my work is answered on my web page which she clearly did not read.

Though I did learn one thing about myself when involved in the conversation late last night... When she accused me of being able bodied I was really offended.... lol.... that has to be the first time I have felt such a way I have always wanted to be 'normal' and hated having all these issues but have excepted that this is how it is. When I was accused of being one of those able bodied people who say to you "I understand how you feel" I was mad and was like how dear she accuse me of being normal... how offensive ...lol

This is a big step for me I think I finally feel like I have really excepted who I am and can stand up proud.

If you have any feed back I would love to hear from you.

Evangelia Karageorgos

The Opening

Well I know I have been a bit slack and letting you know about the opening, I have had a lot on with orders and feedback.

The Opening went fabulous I had about 30 people turn up and most were people I did not know and also had experiences with disability.
I got lots of fabulous feedback and made some sales witch is always a great thing.

The fanny thing about the day, that was not so funny on the day was the fact that we had been given the wrong key so we could not get in and though I had the grounds mans number it was one number short so I had to call 4 wrong people and ask if they were Ian... lol
Eventually we did get in an hour late rushed everything together and had no other issues that day....

I am so glad that my work has been well received and I have met some absolutely awesome people. I hope this work with continue to inspire and provoke people and will continue to be success full.

On a Final note Bedford did an absolute marvelous job with the catering everyone loved it.

The exhibition is up till the end of the fringe festival so if your in Adelaide get down and see it in person.
If you would like to buy any of the pieces write down the name and how you want it and send me a message via the contact tab above.

Hope you are all doing fabulous till next time

Evangelia Karagoegos

Can Disability Be Sexy?

Can Disability Be Sexy?By


A series of photographs spoofing the often racy advertisements from clothing retailer American Apparel is questioning traditional ideas of beauty in a most provocative way.

The photos are of Jes Sachse, a 25-year-old Canadian college student with a rare genetic condition known as Freeman-Sheldon syndrome. She has unique facial features, a curved spine and her right leg is a bit shorter than her left, but Sachse is not lacking in attitude.

The series dubbed “American Able” includes 13 recreations of actual American Apparel ads. In one called “Tight,” Sachse appears in a leotard to strut her stuff before an oversized window. In another ad called “Workout,” Sachse is shown wearing nothing more than a headband and green shorts.

The work produced by Sachse’s friend, photographer Holly Norris, 21, is appearing in Toronto subway stations this month on more than 270 electronic screens as part of a photography festival.

“What I hope comes of this is that people can view disability differently and see that people with disabilities are sexual,” Sachse says. “So many people are trying to come to my aid and protect me from being exploited and they want to prevent disabled people from living their lives.”

The project began nearly two years ago as an assignment for a women and popular culture class that Norris was taking as an undergraduate at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. Norris thought it would be fun to spoof American Apparel advertising, because the company claims that models in its print ads are just normal, everyday girls, though they all seem to share similar body types.

“This idea of who is beautiful and what’s sexy that we see in the media all the time isn’t necessarily what beauty is to me or to you,” says Norris, who received permission from American Apparel to display the work publicly.

As a child, Sachse says she was taught to deny that she was different. But over the years she instead developed pride in her body. Most of the clothing used in the photos actually belongs to Sachse who says she likes to dress stylishly.

“I look confident in the photos and I look just how I feel about the work, about the idea, about my body,” she says.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Male Femal Disabled Official Opening

Click on image to enlarge and see the details...
Visit the official Web page for more information