Image: A slightly fuzzy video still depicting a white woman coiled in the embrace of her companion, a worm-like creature whose patchwork textile flesh is dotted with many flowers made with high-visibility fabric.
TSA Colloquium Series (re)claiming futures
Session 3: Cripping Disability: Transforming Meanings and Practices Through Textiles
Date and Time: Tuesday, September 27th, 2022, 7pm EDT / 4:00 pm PDT. This is a virtual event.
$10 TSA Members / $15 nonmembers. You will receive a Zoom link in your registration confirmation email. To become a TSA member and support programs like this, join here.
A recording will be available to everyone who registers for 7 days after the event for later viewing.
Join the Textile Society of America for this online colloquium showcasing (re)claimed narratives and histories of textile creation, practice, and study. In these presentations and panel discussions, innovative artists and scholars will discuss textile histories and practices of American communities traditionally underrepresented in the political and cultural landscape. Offering insights that often challenge mainstream academic discourse and longstanding frameworks of knowledge, these speakers will underscore the plurality of textile histories, producers, and purposes while advocating for more inclusive approaches in the textile field. The series has been conceived as an ongoing conversation with the presentations building on one another, and we suggest that TSA members engage with the entire series as they would approach a day-long conference. This series is generously supported by the Lenore G.Tawney Foundation as part of their ongoing commitment to ensure access to critical voices of the textile community.
Session 3 Cripping Disability: Transforming Meanings and Practices Through Textiles
Disability art is a burgeoning arts sector throughout North America that takes the experience of disability as a creative entry point. Through creative practice, disabled, Mad, and Deaf artists challenge normative ways of understanding disability by representing their embodiment in agentive, intersectional, nuanced ways that are driven by, and authentic to, their lived experiences. Engaging these themes, this panel—facilitated by disability arts curator Dr. Eliza Chandler—will feature three disability artists: Vanessa Dion Fletcher (Potawatomi and Lenape), Birdie, and Jessica Watkin. In conversation, these artists will introduce their textile practices in relation to disability arts and “crip cultural practices”— accessibility practices born out of disability culture that center disabled people—and discuss how these practices can productively reshape how we create and exhibit textile works. They will also discuss how their practices crip and decolonize meanings of disability, offering an understanding of disability and neurodivergence as an identity and creative force rather than pathology.
Dr. Eliza Chandler is an associate professor in the School of Disability Studies, wherein she teaches courses on disability arts and culture, cultural representations of disability, leadership and community building, and intersectional activist movements. Earning her PhD from the Social Justice and Education department at the University of Toronto in 2014, Dr. Chandler was dually appointed as the artistic director at Tangled Art + Disability, an organization in Toronto dedicated to the cultivation of disability arts, and as a postdoctoral research fellow in Ryerson University’s School of Disability Studies from 2014-2016.
Birdie is a practitioner of longing. Birdie searches for care and intimacy, practicing longing through notions of disability and accessibility. Like artists and thinkers before her, she envisions disability and difference as transformative cultures that connect all our struggles, rather than things that are isolated only in the body. As an emerging multidisciplinary artist, Birdie creates multisensory, site-specific installations that are led primarily by audio description in tandem with tactile sculpture.
Vanessa Dion Fletcher is a Lenape and Potawatomi neurodiverse Artist. Her family is from Eelūnaapèewii Lahkèewiitt (displaced from Lenapehoking) and European settlers. She employs porcupine quills, Wampum belts, and menstrual blood to reveal the complexities of what defines a body physically and culturally. Reflecting on an Indigenous and gendered body with a neurodiverse mind, Dion Fletcher creates art using composite media, primarily working in performance, textiles and video. https://www.dionfletcher.com/ Instagram: @Vdionf Twitter: V_Dion_Fletcher
Jessica Watkin is a Blind PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies with research focusing on Disability dramaturgy, Disability arts in Canada, and care working in the arts. She is a Blind artist-scholar working predominantly in tactile textiles (knitting, rug hooking), dramaturgy of performance, playwriting, and tweets @fekkledfudge. CripRitual: https://cripritual.com/watkin/
For questions about the program or registration, contact Maggie D’Aversa firstname.lastname@example.org
Promotion partners for Session 3 Cripping Disability: Transforming Meanings and Practices Through Textiles are Tangled Art + Disability and the Toronto Metropolitan University School of Disability Studies