Image courtesy of Sunaura Taylor, “Lobster Girl”, oil paint on digital print on paper, 5.5′ x 3.5′ (66″ x 42″), 2011. The following image was used as part of Cripistemologies: a disability studies mini-conference held in New York. (April 2013) Click on image for Sunaura’s web page.
In Mullins 2009 TED talk, she said: ‘The conversation with society has changed profoundly in the last decade. It is no longer a conversation about overcoming deficiency. It’s a conversation about augmentation; it’s a conversation about potential. A prosthetic limb does not represent the need to replace the loss anymore. It can stand as a symbol that the wearer has the power to recreate whatever it is and they want to create in that space, so that people society once considered to be disabled can now become architects of their own identities.’
The one simple question I ask, who has access to this?
Pair of artificial legs for a child (red shoes) Leather sockets at the hip and buttock of this prosthesis are open-ended to allow the natural feet to be free. The feet could then control valves that operated a set of artificial arms. The carbon dioxide cylinder that powered the upper limbs can be seen in the left leg.
Rosie the Riveter is commonly used as a face of feminism and women’s economic power. Yet, the image’s origins are considered to be highly patriotic, as the song Rosie song goes: ‘All the day long, Whether rain or shine, She’s part of the assembly line, She’s making history, Working for victory.’ Little did people know, that these patriotic pictures were taken by a group of photographers under the governmental agency of the Farm Security Administration, commonly known as the FSA Information Division. (Some of these photographs included the great Dorthea Lange and Walker Evans). The intent of the images was to keep production up by boosting morale, not to recruit more women workers. Whatever their intentions were I found these images helpful, in Gordon Park’s words, both a FSA’s photographer and later a prominent film director (of Shaft) these images were: ‘A Choice of Weapons’.