Click here to read about the Norwegian Politician whose recent nude photoshoot asks us to question our concept of beauty.
Photography of the disabled body, in fact of any body, is not without it’s controversies. David Hevey claims that photography “enfreaks” bodies and shows them as “other”, as “photography often voyeuristically offers up the body, particularly the disabled and disfigured body, on a platter”. Ann Millett-Gallant comments on Rosemarie Garland-Thomson’s views of photography, saying that “images produce social discourses on and contribute to the social instruction of disability, due specifically to their photographic form and how it constructs disability as a spectacle; in addition to producing “reality” photography provides a means for reproducing and circulating problematic images of disability,as well as provides the opportunity for the distanced viewer to stare at and diagnose the human body”.
I agree that photographing disabled bodies can add to disabling social ideology around disability. However, in these images I feel a great sense of agency in the subject of the images, as well as a clear pride and honesty. It feels to me much less that an image is being taken of a body, but that a person is celebrating their own body with the use of a photographer.
Also, I found my initial reaction to this story interesting. I was more impressed that Norway had elected a disabled politician than by the beautiful photography. Read about Disability Politics UK for information of the movement to get more disabled MPs into parliament.