As someone who is creating art centered around the topic of ableism, I wanted to make something I could use but also send a message on. Ableism is something I absolutely hate; I am an activist and I will use my art to change perceptions and open people’s eyes to truth of the world we live in.
The concept itself of creating an apron is one that made me think about cleaning up society, not in a feather duster sort of way, but in a way where I show images that are disruptive to make the viewer uncomfortable. The world is flawed, like humanity itself. We are broken, as the human race and thus try to break others, societal views of breaking down “weaker people” is wrong. The social tones are unexpectable, humanity needs to heal.
Human greed fuels the ableist machine, it is the grease in the cogs that make it go round. If you can not contribute to the funds of the rich you are considered to be weaker and less then other humans. This is a corrupt society after all, one that puts finances about human life. Big pharma as an example is something that aims to disrupt and break the chronic ill/different abled and sick mind. Making pill costs not affordable makes being sick difficult and leads to internal ableism. Internal ableism stems from the societal views we are brought up knowing, that if we do not fit into a generic box we must hate and belittle ourselves.
Working on this apron made me think of how expensive my drugs are per year, I am expected to pay around thirty-three thousand dollars a year for meds. Something I can not afford. I sure at this moment one would think, wait, we are in Canada, meds are covered right. Wrong, they are not, not every med is covered, a few examples are asthma meds, chemotherapy drugs, and Alzheimer’s meds. I had to stop taking a medication called Xolair, one that helped with my breathing and allergic reactions because it costs two thousand dollars a month. Stopping that med brought my total down to nine thousand dollars a year for meds. However, when you look at the student life, and paying for living and tuition having an extra nine thousand to fork over becomes expensive factoring in everything else. I did not cause my illnesses, and at times feel punished by society for being sick.
As someone who has survived cancer twice, and lives with three rare diseases. I aim to change perceptions, and clean up society from the toxicity of ableism. This form of discrimination is not talked about enough, ableism leads to caretakers burn out which leads to abuse of the disabled and differently abled people. Ableism forms the notions that hate crimes towards disabled are mercy killings. Ableism is toxic, lets clean up society and rid discrimination of all types. If everyone comes together to make change, change will happen. I will never quiet my voice; I will continue to yell and scream into the void I will do what I can. “Be the change you want to see in the world” (Gandhi).