Curb to Curb
This week, we were saddened to learn that Atlanta-based artist Joan Tysinger had died. She was a one-of-a-kind street activist dedicated to demonstrating accessibility issues. Central to her legacy is a set of online video diaries that document her vibrant, courageous aesthetic.
In 2005, Tysinger began to address in her art the intense physical challenges that she’d faced ever since she contracted polio at the age of 9 months. She turned to examine access, inclusion, mobility limitations and her personal identity as a woman with a disability.
In her intro to Wheelchair Diaries (2007 to 2013), Joan expressed a growing activist perspective:
With my camera attached to my wheelchair, I captured the freedom I had to navigate from one place to another; the perspective I gained by moving through the world in a seated position; the unexpected hurdles I faced; and the discoveries I made along the way…In creating Wheelchair Diaries, I have taken on the role of aesthetic activist: my work has begun to open eyes, alter opinions, and hopefully effect change.
I am convinced that through this work I have an opportunity to make a difference and I believe the time is now.
A 2008 interview with the artist appears on the Feministe blog.