Article | Open Access
Pandemic Lived Experience, Crip Utopias, and Dismodernist Revolutions: For a More‐Than‐Social Model of Disability
Abstract: At its height, the Covid‐19 pandemic dispersed across society a perception of bodyminded contingency that ushered in modes of “building community” that were unimaginable in pre‐pandemic times, alongside an intensification of health and social inequalities. From the start, disabled people intervened on social media to stress the considerable extent to which the pre‐pandemic knowledge derived from their lived experience, disability theory, and disability rights’ organising could contribute both to the critique of how in pandemic times people were made differentially disposable and to the creation of new relationalities, mostly online, around the principle of accessibility. This article explores how a critical perspective rooted in the lived experience of disability builds on these interventions to excavate the role played by the lived experience of bodyminded contingency and vulnerability during the pandemic in generating a radical transformation of modes of living (together). First, it will suggest that this radical transformation powerfully resonated with the politics of accessibility associated with disability politics. It will do so by delineating the critical significance of commentary produced during the pandemic by disability theorists and activists, as well as the relationship between the perception of widespread bodyminded contingency and vulnerability and the development of “crip utopias of accessibility” and “dismodernist revolutions” during the pandemic. It will then locate this experiential spread of bodyminded contingency and vulnerability at the core of pandemic infrastructural sensibilities. I will conclude by reflecting on its relevance for the development of a “more‐than‐social” model of disability which attends to the crip world‐making power of disability as fundamentally entangling the social and the biological.
Keywords: Covid; crip; dismodernism; infrastructures; lived experience; models of disability; more‐than‐social; posthuman; revolution; utopia
© Arianna Introna. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.