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I'm part of an autobiographical performance project called "No One Wants to See the Wires." We do something fairly similar, but looser in structure, to the guided autobiography talked about on the show. We are performers with various disabilities.
I think that our culture really separates out the older generations from the rest of mainstream society. For some of the same, and some different, reasons, people with disabilities are also quite separate. Our stories are often not shared because of our isolation, because people think the stories are too hard to hear, or that they won't relate to them (or will relate too much).
So we meet in our group writing workshops, share our autobiographical pieces, provide feedback on the writing and artistic quality, and then we mount a live theater production of these stories. They are often very deep, moving, difficult stories, but they are always beautiful and very artistic. Here in Portland, Impetus Arts is the production company that produces and stages the shows. Back in my hometown of Austin, TX, a similar project called "Actual Lives" worked in the group workshop to performance format. From one performance to the next, our audiences doubled.
I'm glad people no longer only look at older adults' storytelling as being stuck in the past but can recognize the importance of self-reflection and in sharing insights with future generations. In our project we hope that, in fact, people will want to take a moment to see the wires and learn more about the very human ways in which disabled members of society operate and share our self-reflections. They are quite beautiful, and in some ways, so much like anyone else's stories and desires to share their stories.
posted 2 years, 2 months ago
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