Embodied Time, Affective Labor

Publication via T\LT WEST

in Response to Tilt West’s Roundtable, Every/body: Art, Representation & Accessibility

As a twenty-seven-year-old, thin white female from the United States who is close to finishing graduate school, I am expected to have a functioning, productive body and mind in order to be a “good” citizen in this capitalistic society. Especially in the public sphere, where my body and mind appear to function “normally,” it is assumed that I am able to move quickly, work long hours, and maybe even have an active social life a few nights per week. A career and a little fun are the expected goals.

I am an emerging artist and an arts writer. And I have invisible disability. I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of six when my younger brother died of the same illness. Twenty-one years later, the amount of time spent on self-care and dependent-care just to move my body and mind is upwards of five hours a day. This time increases to twenty-four hours on those (not infrequent) occasions when I have to be hospitalized for two weeks at a time.

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Image (c) Tya Anthony