Emma´s Summer Contemplations - July 14th

Online activism – or rather: politics taking place online – is the topic of this week’s Crip Camp. My spontaneous thought was that I know absolutely nothing about all of this. On one hand I have never truly felt a kinship to the notion of activism and on the other hand I would perhaps not describe myself neither as a perfect creator of debate nor all that fluent in hashtags. A lot of the things that are synonymous to online activism hence feels slightly foreign. But on the other hand…

As late as last week, did we not state that crips are always political? That all of us are political animals and that being Disabled perhaps makes you even more so? The fact that I am writing this blog is a proof that I belong to the species Disabled (with a capital D). Furthermore, me being one half of the podcast Full Rulle – with a single focus to dissect everything that ableism comprises – talks even more in favor of this thesis. And then, zooming out slightly more, I instantly realize that my theory of not being a part of the online activists is straight up false. I am using #DistinguishedDisabled frequently as a tag when talking about myself on Tumblr – just look at that! (And I am working for STIL. Come on Emma, get in tune with your connected zoon politikon!)

But enough about me. Is it not terribly uninteresting with an individual perspective anyway? Our focus should be society at large, not on one of the millions of crips who introspects and want to sort out their own agenda. And this is exactly when online politics gets interesting! All of a sudden the rooms are expanding. The thresholds stating who is allowed to take up space and gets to be heard get lower. As dangerous as it may be, there is also something liberatingly fantastic about it. We are not only listening to people with traditional mandates – rather: today the mandates are defined in a different manner. If you are passionate about something you can be heard, whether you are located on the barricades or in your best armchair. The world is getting smaller, at the same time as the political space is expanding. And how do we spell all of that? The answer: ACCESSIBILITY (capital letters).

Emma Åstrand                 

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