I loved Simi Linton’s book, My Body Politic. I love her voice, energy, commitment.
She is loud, proud and powerful. She is a champion of the arts and of disability.
She is a woman that I am proud and honoured to introduce to you.
Getting to Know You
1. Your name: Simi Linton
2. What’s your connection with disability? I identify as a disabled woman
3. Star Trek or Star Wars? None of the above
4. If you could live in any other country for 2 years, where would you go?
Australia, but I would send my mouth to France, my eyes to Japan, and my funny bone to UK
5. What dish would your bring to our community picnic potluck?
An apple and chestnut salad [been thinking about this combo for a while, but haven’t actually tried it]
Now That We’ve Been Introduced…
1. What do you do:
I am currently, along with Christian von Tippelskirch, completing a documentary film entitled Invitation to Dance. The film is based on a memoir I published a few years ago, My Body Politic. The focus of both the film and the book is on my life as a disabled woman over the past 40 years, and the growth of the disability rights, and disability arts and culture movement in those decades.
2. How did you come to doing what you do? How has your career trajectory flowed?
I taught at Hunter College for many years, and left in 1998 to continue writing and develop my consulting practice to arts organizations on the integration of disability and disabled people into the arts.
3. Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
I would like to know that in 5 years, Invitation to Dance will have received recognition and a broad audience. Christian and I hope that we will tour to many places, to present the film and talk about the implications of the film for the evolution of disability rights and arts.
4. Not to be morbid, but what do you want people to remember about you when you’ve gone?
The title of which I am most proud and wish to be remembered for:
At the Society of Disability Studies, I am known as the “Instigator of the Dance” I helped make the dance a prominent feature of our annual conference and I expend great effort at getting people out on the dance floor and OUT.
5. Who or what inspires you?
I am wary of the term “inspire” as it has been used in peculiar ways to talk about disabled people. I prefer to say that certain people or issues excite or goad me on or enrage me or push me to act or …..
There are so many that I will sum it up this way: The disability community that I am part of is the most fertile, observant, responsible, astute, creative, committed, wise, persistent, funny, outrageous, savvy, miraculous, brilliant, group of citizens the world has ever known. They get me to my desk every day, and onto the dance floor whenever possible.
1. If you could say something to yourself in the past – that is, the you that was really struggling with something related to disability – what would you say?
Some day you will feel about the disability community the way you did when you were writing the response to the previous question. It would have been unfathomable in the early days – but it would have been useful to know.
2. What do you like about your particular disability?
I differentiate between disability and impairment. I am excited by my disability status – the perspective that it provides and the platform it gives me to speak about many issues and ideas. As for my impairment – well, it is so ordinary to me at this point I am hard pressed to say what I like about it.
3. Any one thing that you wish people would *get* about disability?
That disability is a civil rights and social justice issue.
4. What single piece of technology makes your life easier?
My power chair is indispensible – all the rest are of secondary importance. But the chair is USELESS in an inaccessible environment.
- Where else can we find you online?
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.