Sunday, February 18, 2007

In My Language

This film is by A.M.Baggs, a woman who has Autism. As well as being a mesmerising artwork, it is a powerful statement about difference; questioning the value of so-called 'normal' ways of interpreting the world. During the first part of the film she uses her voice and visuals, she then translates her language and describes her intentions via a text to voice machine:

"Only when the many shapes of personhood are recognised will justice and human rights be possible"

A.M.Baggs has more work on You Tube - she posts as SilentMiaow. Matthew and I were blown away by this. It's interesting because I've known quite a few people who've been on the Autistic Spectrum, some are friends and relations, others I've worked with when I've been leading arts workshops. One woman in particular reminds me of Ms Baggs, she interacted with her environment by writing letters on everything. We did some interesting drawings together but it strikes me now that I just didn't really know her at all. It's confusing to me that I could known someone and not have known them at all.

I read today that there are some new breakthroughs in research into ASD. The genetics of the condition are being analysed and soon 'there may be an end to autism'. Hmmm. I hope that they don't mean 'an end to autistic people'. Pretty soon I wouldn't be surprised if they introduced pregnancy tests that tell you if the fetus has DS or ASD.

Interestingly, Mat's best man, Pete is a lecturer in Economics at Univerity College London. The Psych department there tested all the lecturers in Maths, Economics and Engineering for ASD - in particular Aspergers Syndrome, and according to Pete, everyone had it to some level or another. His results showed he was 'off the scale'. Might be why he is such an interesting man. These steps towards a mono-culture where everyone is 'normal' are hugely worrying.


Jannalou said...

I found you via your comment to Ballastexistenz' blog.

Please visit my web site and write your MP re: Bill C-304!

(And get as many of your new Canadian friends on board as you can.)

L. Noelle said...

I saw this video before on another blog, you're right it is powerful.