Photographs, interviews and performance costume 2020
Empathy object -series
Modelling: Leena Immonen, Sari Lehikoinen, Anna-Stina Lindén, Petra Vuorela
Improvisation with the performance costume by dancer Paavali Kärkkäinen.
When Covid-19 reached Finland in spring 2020, there were people with disabilities telling in Facebook how quarantine conditions had been their normal for years before the pandemia. Like staying home socially isolated, using home delivery services and meeting friends online. I went to photograph and interview four women with disabilities about how normal and satisfied they felt in their homes during lockdowns. Later I found many discussions in social media about how the pandemia is simulating to the non-disabled world, how is it like to live years in isolation with routine disruptions and constant anxiety.
Prior research has demonstrated that the needs of the disability community are not heard during public health emergencies. We become invisible and are not included in decision-making. Therefore we become even more vulnerable to ill-treatment, violence and discrimination. The worst is, that in crisis situations, old-fashioned, outdated thinking of inferiority of people with disabilities returns. We got to read how many states prioritized medical care. Against key principles and ethics of medicine, categorical guidelines were made to deny intensive care and ventilators on the basis of disability, without individual assessments. Disability organizations tried to oppose these eugenic guidelines all around the world, but the topic received little or no attention.