Sins Invalid, An Unashamed Claim to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility.
Sins Invalid is one of my favorite American projects, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a performance based collective ‘that incubates and celebrates’ artists with disabilities, particularly ‘artists of color and queer and gender-variant, as communities who have historically been marginalized.’ In 2009, I was fortunate enough to be in the audience of one of their shows, which so happens to be available online with small donation of $2, between now and the 11th August. For all UK viewers who are unfamiliar with their work, if I’m guessing correctly, you might know of Mat Fraser, who makes an appearance in this show.
I wholeheartedly recommend this film. I can’t simply say I enjoyed it, which of course I did, but the skilled way in which it evokes a deep rooted emotion in me negates such niceties. Watching the show I was confronted with new ideas about both disability and sexuality. Whilst discussing the experience of the disabled body, I noted how I objectified this body then, even being guilty of locating it within the medical gaze. For me, Sins Invalid has the ability to ask questions about identity politics, freeing the body up from the confines of the medical discourse, showing, instead bodies that are complex. Patricia Berne, one of the co-founders, states:
We weren’t seeing folks who were holding the complexity of our identities — as people of color, as queer, as people impacted by male supremacy, as people with disabilities — all in one place. We wanted to create a space that could hold all of who we are, where we wouldn’t be the token person of color, or the token person with a disability, or the token queer person (not that Leroy is queer — he’s an ally).
The quote above, taken from Huffington Post’s article ‘When it Comes to Sex, Are Your Sins Invalid?’ offers a good comparison between disability justice and social justice more broadly. Such a progressive discussion breaks away from mere tokenism; significantly embodying the human experience.
To view the show click on the following link: Watch the Sins now!