How Was Our Year? Let’s Look at Some Highlights from Sins Invalid 2012…

In addition to the work we’ve done to finalize Sins – The Film…We went on our First International Tour! At the invitation of the University of Toronto, on March 17th Sins Invalid flew to Toronto to offer a full length performance at The Art Gallery of Ontario, involving four live performers (Leroy Moore, Maria Palacios, Alex Cafarelli and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha), the work of three media artists (Aurora Levins Morales, Todd Herman and Patty Berne) and one stage manager (Ralph Dickinson).  With widespread publicity throughout Toronto, we attracted 300 attendees; sadly, 100 community members were turned away at the door.  In the words of one audience member:  “Sins presented a reclaiming, revaluing and liberation of our whole selves that went beyond anything I have seen before. The performance welcomed, loved and complicated that which is considered taboo, monstrous, the unspeakable, part of ourselves that we may have hardly even known about. Thank you for brilliance and thank you for sharing it with us.”  Sins also led a disability justice workshop as part of New College Disability Studies Week, sponsored by New College, University of Toronto and Ryerson University’s School of Disability Studies. The workshop engaged over 60 participants with a diverse mix of disability studies students, professors, and community organizers. Co-facilitated by Patty Berne via video and Sins performer Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha in person, the workshop linked disability justice, praxis, movement building, race, class, and queerness.We webstreamed our full 2009 performance on demand for 24 hrs/day from August 5 – 11th, with a live Q&A on August 10th.  We offered a viewing packet that included the 2009 show program, access suggestions for group viewing, and provocative discussion questions.We led two performance based workshops:-    Reaching for Each Other: Movement Offerings across Abilities with Laura Malpass and Patty Berne-    Sex in the Summer – Getting’ Some Mixed Ability F***ing, facilitated by Mkali Hashiki and Patty BerneWe participated in two Artistic Collaborations:-    The film I Cannot Speak Without Shaking by Todd Herman featuring the writing of Patty Berne was shown in The Ugly Spirit, as part of London’s 2012 Festival for the Cultural Olympiad-    The Chili Story (Ellery Russian, Patty Berne and Ralph Dickinson collaborated on that video) was included in CripTease: An Evening of Irreverent Art. At the University of Alberta in Canada, the event peaked attendance at around 120 and featured 16 artists from across North America and Europe.We hosted two cross community dialogues amongst cultural activists and movement builders from different sectors in a dialogue series entitled MAKING CONNECTIONS:  Conversations Within and Between Communities, with a few dozen people participating. Conversation topics included:-    Who is worth paying for, and who ends up paying? The capitalist construction of disability and disability in the market.  Conversation questions included: How do we understand our bodies and our work in an economy that by definition asserts that disabled means unable to work?  How do we hold our selves, our relationships, and our work to effectively disrupt this oppressive narrative?  How do we as community organizers and/or cultural workers understand labor in relation to art and movement building? How can we re-conceptualize means of production and consumption in a disability justice framework?  How can we create a practice where the economy exists to serve the people and not just the people serving the economy? How can we expose that the medical industrial complex profits off of its own construction of disability as pathological “net drain”?-    Medicalizing, Fetishizing, & Classifying Crip/Brown/Queer and otherwise "Transgressive" Bodies & Minds, based on the questions: can we identify intersections/ conflicts/ parallels between the medicalized exotification of our crip bodies and of our ethnicities? What are some forms of modern-day eugenics?  Where does this move into the grey area of cures?  How do we move beyond architectural/attitudinal barriers & access to the “disabling” that is created by white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, patriarchy, hetero-normativity, or medical system?  What are some parallels and distinctions between "devotees" fetishizing crip bodies and the hypersexualization of brown/black bodies or gender non-conforming bodies?  How do we inhabit our bodies and eroticism while resisting the pigeon-holing of our bodies?We were covered in numerous places, including:- Aorta Magazine, Feb 2, 2012http://www.aortamagazine.com/blog/sins-invalid/Sins Invalid: The Claims to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility- National Sexuality Resource Center, February 14, 2012http://www.nsrc.sfsu.edu/article/sins_invalid_unashamed_claim_beauty_name_invisibility_soon_be_documentary_filmSins Invalid: An Unashamed Claim to Beauty in the Name of Invisibility Soon to be Documentary Film By Jenese Jackson- Cultural Organizing, March 8, 2012http://culturalorganizing.org/?p=586An Interview with Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility By Paul Kuttner- Sex with Timaree, March 29, 2012http://sexwithtimaree.com/2012/03/29/sins-invalid-what-bodies-are-allowed-to-be-sexual/Sins Invalid: What Bodies Are Allowed to be Sexual? By Dr. Timaree Schmit- YES! Magazine, Aug 01, 2012http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/its-your-body/sins-of-the-fleshSpeaking For All Bodies (Not Just the "Perfect" Ones): In "Sins Invalid," performance artists shatter stereotypes around sex and disabilities to reclaim the body's redemptive power By Sven EberleinWe maintained our strong online presence, with 12,180 total visits to our website in 2012 with 8,429 distinct visitors!We maintained our channel – Crip Justice – on YouTube, with a total of 54 public videos, 122 subscribers, with total upload views of 88,861 (17,907 views in 2012 alone)!We diversified our earned income to include:-    touring performances-    presentations-    webstreaming-    partnering with Ships In the Night-    Kickstarter campaignWe had ROCKSTAR Interns:-    Lateef McLeod-    Brooke Willock-    Sandie Yee-    Nina Maghazei-    Beast Von Fancy-    Eni PelaWe further understood the meaning and practice of Mixed Ability Organizing.We loved.  Our selves.  Our bodies.  Each other.  Our community. You.

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