Mobilizing Metaphor illustrates how artistic and radical efforts are reshaping disability activism in Canada and, in the process, challenging dominant perceptions of disability.
Recent changes to Canadian disability policy have seen disability programs hampered by funding cuts and other austerity measures. But this oppression has also given new life to an already vibrant Canadian tradition of disability activism. Until now, research has focused on the legal and policy spheres and overlooked disability activism that expresses itself alongside and outside conventional policy reform, often through a variety of art forms.
Here, contributions by disability artists, activists, and academics show how disability art is distinctive as both art and social action. Richly illustrated with photographs and other images, and including an insightful concluding chapter by renowned disability scholar Tanya Titchkoksy, this array of artistic, cultural, and radical approaches to disability politics demonstrates that disability activism is as varied as the populations it represents. As the contributors sketch the shifting contours of disability politics in Canada and show how disability oppression is not isolated from other prejudices, they challenge us to re-examine how we enact social and political change.
Michael Orsini is a Full Professor in the School of Political Studies and Vice-Dean of graduate studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa.