Photographer Harper Nichols, a 2022 UAB graduate who targeted on her personal incapacity for a photographic collection whereas at school, hopes the exhibition opens conversations.
A brand new exhibition of images highlighting individuals who stay with bodily disabilities — and brought by a current College of Alabama at Birmingham graduate who has cerebral palsy — will open Thursday, Jan. 26.
“Power in Vulnerability – Deconstructing Ableism: Profiles of Success, Willpower and Perseverance” explores ingrained, internalized ableism and inclusion, acceptance and advocacy to debate points that the group continues to face.
Photographer Harper Nichols and filmmaker Ingrid Pfau labored with the UAB College of Well being Professions and the Nationwide Heart on Well being, Bodily Exercise and Incapacity to create the exhibition. Nichols, a December 2022 graduate who earned a Bachelor of Advantageous Arts diploma with a focus in pictures from the UAB Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Division of Artwork and Artwork Historical past, targeted on her personal incapacity for a photographic collection whereas at school. Pfau graduated from UAB in 2011 with a bachelor’s diploma in environmental science filmmaking, an individually designed main. A member of the Honors Faculty College Honors Program, she was the primary UAB alumna to obtain the Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Arts Award.
Over the past six months, 18 completely different contributors who all stay with various disabilities have been photographed and interviewed for “Power in Vulnerability — Deconstructing Ableism.” Every individual within the mission spoke brazenly about their private experiences residing with a incapacity and coping with exterior and internalized abilityism. See their imagery, video and data each on the exhibit and on-line at www.uab.edu/shp/residence/cedhars/art-installation.
The artwork exhibition is within the UAB Wellness, Well being and Analysis Facility situated on the campus of the Lakeshore Basis, 3810 Ridgeway Drive, Birmingham, AL 35209. See the artwork and meet the artist on the opening evening unveiling 5-7 pm Jan. 26 This occasion is free and open to everybody, however registration upfront is recommended to attend. Register on-line.
Ableism is deeply ingrained in most of us whether or not we understand it or not, says James Rimmer, Ph.D., Lakeshore Basis Endowed Chair in Well being Promotion and Rehabilitation Sciences at UAB.
“I consider this highly effective exhibit will affect how we take a look at our personal our bodies, in addition to the our bodies of disabled folks,” Rimmer stated. “It’s uncommon to see a photograph exhibit the place the photographer and the themes have disabilities — it’s a distinctive alternative for folks to see the place incapacity, accessibility and talent intersect and the place dedication prospers.”
In finishing this mission, Nichols, whose personal incapacity, cerebral palsy, impacts using her proper arm, says she has begun to really feel much less alone in her personal experiences with abilityism and internalized abilityism. She has been inspired by the willingness of the contributors to share their very own experiences and tales—one thing she was beforehand hesitant to do.
“This mission has modified the best way I take into consideration my very own incapacity,” Nichols stated. “I’ve discovered that being susceptible and open can join folks in a really significant means.
“These are real looking tales of people who find themselves doing actual issues — in an actual group and an actual area — and the way they’ve succeeded,” she stated. “I am hoping that it opens a door to conversations about what’s ableism and what’s internalized abilityism.”
Nichols final 12 months educated the digital camera on herself and photographed solely her arm as the topic for a self-portrait task at school. As a result of she isn’t in a position to grip issues with one hand, her arm has turn into her personal personalised holding gadget, she wrote in her mission assertion. The collection, “holding / self portrait,” confirmed all of the issues she holds all through the day together with her arm. How she fulfilled that task influenced her inventive apply, and altered how she pertains to different folks, she says.