On the March 8th episode of Unfit to Print, Viola Chen speaks to a group of 7 speakers from the McGill student community congregate to speak about lived experiences of invisibilized physical and mental illnesses, particularly those that are typically excluded from mainstream narratives. The panel is structured around non-hierarchal discussion and emotional validation, examining possibilities for collective healing external to medical institutions that police personal disability identifications.
Some of the topics discussed include contemporary disability narratives, experiences of medical institutions, and relationships with intimate partners. Over the course of the discussion, the group explores a variety of different identifications with health, illness, and healing. The gendered and racialized realities of illness and disability are prioritized in the discussion, as they fundamentally inform diagnostic procedures, threats of violence, and experiences of abuse.
Addressing lived experiences, the panel discusses the detrimental effects of navigating physical and mental illness through capitalist structures of power, as these structures accommodate disability narratives in order to advance their own profit-oriented ventures. The speakers take interest in the ways that bodies can be valued beyond their productivity and their willingness to experience healing as a linear reality, instead conceptualizing disability as a way of life.