Tonight and tomorrow night at 8PM (Friday/Saturday, Sept. 5/6th) at the Brava Theater at 2789 24th Street in San Francisco will be the third year of one of the most envelope pushing performance projects tackling the topic of sexuality and disability:
Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility.
Amoeblog caught up with Patricia Berne, the director of Sins Invalid, to ask her about this most unique performance project and this weekend's two performances that include singer/songwriter Nomy Lamm.
AMOEBLOG: For those who know nothing about Sins Invalid, can you describe what it is?
PATRICIA BERNE: Sins Invalid is a performance project which incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing on artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized. Our performance work explores the themes of sexuality, embodiment and the disabled body. Conceived and led by disabled people of color, we develop and present cutting-edge work where normative paradigms of "normal" and "sexy" are challenged, offering instead a vision of beauty and sexuality inclusive of all individuals and communities. We define disability broadly to include people with physical impairments, who are a sensory minority, people with emotional disabilities, people with cognitive challenges, those with chronic/severe illness, individuals who identify as disabled due to intersex conditions or gender variance, and others who may identify as disabled because their bodies do not conform to society's notions of "normal" or able-bodied.
AMOEBLOG: What are the most common misconceptions on the topic of sexuality and disability?
During the Colonial era, cinematic images of Africa and its people were entirely the work of Western filmmakers. The Tarzan movies, African Queen, King Solomon's Mines and others were usually filmed on soundstages half a world away from Africa and made little to no effort toward authenticity, instead trading in exoticism aimed primarily at exploiting Western tastes.
Senegal gained its independence from France in 1960. Like most West African countries, Senegal is highly diverse. The Wolof, Peul, Halpulaaren, Serer, Lebou, Jola, Mandinka, Moors, Soninke and Bassari are all long established in the country. There are also substantial populations of French, Mauritanians, Lebanese and Vietnamese. Three years after independence, the first Senegalese film was made by Ousmane Sembene titled L'empire sonhrai, which would set the standards for a uniquely African cinematic language that would establish Senegal as the capital of African Cinema.