What does disability mean to you?
What is disability, in general?
Having trained as a rehabilitation professional, I was confident in my ability to answer the questions above. Sufficiently confident to travel outside my country of origin to improve the situation of persons with disabilities.
Years of involvement in disability projects in Haiti, Cameroon, and the territory of the Mushkegowuk Cree unsettled the confidence that I once had in my understanding of disability. This unsettlement was further reinforced through invaluable teachings from disability and decolonizing activists, who have struggled to undo the oppression that they experience personally.
From the alternating positions of unknowing and learning anew, I was connected through a series of colleagues to a disability movement in earnest to explore what the idea of disability means. And what to do about it.
These connections led me to Bulozi, the homeland of the Lozi people, situated in Zambia’s Western Province. My initial phase of this journey – my doctoral dissertation – is now complete. The question now is “Where do I go from here?” From January to March 2017, I am back in Bulozi to follow up with participants and colleagues, and to determine next steps.
This blog is a time-limited venture, intended to reinforce a particular stage in an ongoing project. Through this medium, I hope to share some interesting ideas, and maybe even some insights. I hope to reach colleagues, collaborators, and possibly allies. This segment of the project feels very much like a road less taken. I would love your company along the way.