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Disability Arts Online

Saturday's 'People' / 13 April 2013

Here we are and will you be coming? Could you be part of this interaction? 'People Like You' is still making noises in Salisbury all day today and tomorrow.

It moves to the Lighthouse in Poole at the beginning of May...

My journey to Salisbury Arts Centre following Sue's white lines has a (temporary) festival nature. I am cheered along the way, I point out that I wasn't the artist, but people shake their heads in disbelief. I'm given the thumbs up and knowing, acknowledging smiles. I arrived in a very positive frame of mind.

So different, so very different to my frequent  travels through the town and completely at odds with the hate crime that was the start of 'People Like You'

"People like you should be taken out and shot", I was told in a small shop, by a man who loomed over my wheelborne presence, wishing me dead and out of his way.

But I live, and it seems that 'living' might just be at the heart of the matter; people are not just living with disabilities, we are living. And it's freaking society out.

Paralympians are ok, they 'live' in the limelight for just the right length of time. They can be inspirational without causing compassion fatigue.

Disabled people have been moved out of ghettos, allowed to inhabit public spaces, given the legal right to equality, the right and the obligation to work; but apparently society still cannot believe we have the right to durational survival, let alone a life.

Guardians of the non-functional access, Kouros and Koure
hold their own hidden secret lightly. The unfunny joke that
lingers beneath a surface preoccupation with nudity, with
gender and the white distraction that grows greyer with each
evocative fleeting encounter. Kouros and Koure, reminders
of spatial manipulation, of domination designed to command
feelings of beauty and wonder, awe and respect,
entitlement; and voluntary surrender
to power, to hierarchy, to money,
conformity, uniformity,
elimination?