Able to live, laugh and love
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The autobiographical documentary film "18q - a valuable life", is one attempt to redefine the place of disability in contemporary western society. My work presents some key moments in my life and that of my family since the birth of my youngest child, Allycia in 1995. Allycia was born with a rare genetic condition affecting the 18th chromosome resulting in her experiencing the world somewhat differently to the rest of the family. The condition, which manifests in a myriad of ways with varying levels of severity, affects individuals' physical and intellectual development (Chromosome 18, n. pag.). While the film outlines the condition and Allycia's medical history, the work is primarily concerned with the experiences of the family and offering an alternate story of disability as "other". Drawing on Rosemarie Garland Thomson's notion of shape structuring story ("Shape") and Margrit Shildrick's discussion of becoming vulnerable as theoretical foundations, I reflect on how the making of the film has challenged my previously held views about disability and ultimately about myself.
Media Culture Journal
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Film and Television