Art Education and Ablenationalism: Inclusion, Access, and the Question of Cripwashing

Mikko Koivisto

Tutkimustuotos: Artikkeli kirjassa/konferenssijulkaisussaKonferenssiesitysScientific


This presentation explores the possibilities of utilizing the notion of ablenationalism for discussing questions of disability within art education. The concept is modeled by disability scholars David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder after the concept homonationalism by Jasbir Puar. Ablenationalism refers to the narrative in the post-industrial neoliberal societies about their alleged realization of the inclusion and integration of people with disabilities; that the developed societies have succeeded in abolishing the social, cultural, and economic forms of discrimination of people with disabilities. Locally, the dissemination of this narrative enables silencing any attempt by disability activists to point out the remaining traits of inequity in developed societies, and globally it provides a justification for neocolonial interventions into societies and cultures that do not meet the standards of social equity set by the first-world societies. In addition to its application to both national and international politics, ablenationalism is also taken up by institutions on a smaller scale: for example, private companies may engage in so-called cripwashing by superficially endorsing disability rights in order to give an impression of taking social responsibility.
The ideological substratum of ablenationalism is biopolitics. Developed by Foucault and Agamben, the concept refers to the epistemological and governmental processes through which human life enters the regime of political rationale. With the introduction of statistics, “the science of the state,” in the 18th century, it became possible to base decision-making and policies on the effects they induce on the level of population. Educational institution is an example of a biopolitical apparatus: education affects the population as a whole, influencing the ways of thinking, behaving, living—and art education is part of this constellation.
Public funding of art and art education is often justified by referring to their capacity to produce well-being, and it might be tempting to conform to this requirement in order to convince the surrounding society about the importance of art. However, by adhering to art education’s potential of promoting and preserving well-being, art education delimits its possibilities of defining itself, and attaches itself to the biopolitical notion of disability as a disorder and a deficiency in a population which needs to be eliminated by any means necessary—including the rehabilitating and therapeutic art education practices.
TilaJulkaistu - 8 elokuuta 2017
TapahtumaInSEA World Congress - EXCO, Daegu, Etelä-Korea
Kesto: 7 elokuuta 201711 elokuuta 2017
Konferenssinumero: 35


ConferenceInSEA World Congress


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