I Am Who I Am

24 Apr

by Stella De Genova

If you have followed this blog or read a little about me in the Statement of the blog, you know that my creativity lies in my artwork more than my writing.  I present myself as the visually impaired artist that I am – in my website and even in the Visions In The Dark Art Show I am in, which is art exhibited by 3 visually impaired artists.

Through trying to build a career in art and marketing myself, I’ve wrestled with the presentation of me as a visually impaired artist.  Am I exploiting myself or my blindness?  Or will fellow blind people feel that way about me?  I think about that a lot and I am content to say that after years of denial about my vision, or lack of, I am who I am and this is part of what makes me who I am.  Rather than an attention getter, I share my blindness to help others understand that if we don’t limit ourselves or let others set limits on us, we can follow our dreams and be proud of our accomplishments.  Being honest about myself also opens the conversation about my process of creating art and what it means for me.  Most importantly, I hope when people learn about me and see my art, they understand the bigger picture: for all of our personal differences, it is our strengths, not our personal challenges that make us shine.

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4 Responses to “I Am Who I Am”

  1. Nicholas De Genova April 24, 2012 at 11:09 AM #

    I think that your thoughts here are very important, for people with disabilities of all sorts. Part of the way oppression works is to silence our efforts to affirm and assert what makes us distinct and different. By stigmatizing difference, the dominant order of society presses us into invisibility and self-denial. When we boldly uphold our differences — without apologies, and without reservations — as you have done, we demand social and political visibility for exactly what we are supposed to suppress or hide in shame. It isn’t about pleading for special privileges or exploiting our differences; it’s about affirmatively demanding that we must have a world in which there is room for those differences to coexist and space for them to flourish.
    — Nick De Genova (www.nicholasdegenova.net)

    • visionthroughwords April 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM #

      Thank you for your thoughts. Your elaboration is also very important.

  2. Jeff Flodin April 24, 2012 at 11:10 AM #

    Thank you, Stella, for your honest and very moving statement.

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