What is it like to live with a disability in Russia? What happens when an ethnographer sets out to write a play based on the stories of fieldwork participants? What happens when American theater-makers with disabilities stage a play about Russia? I WAS NEVER ALONE is an ethnographic play about the experiences of people with mobility and speech impairments in contemporary Russia. Playwright-ethnographer Cassandra Hartblay reflects on the process of developing the script, bringing an anthropologist’s sensibility to examining disability studies and performance ethnography. The play has been presented at UNC-Chapel Hill, UC San Diego, and Yale University, and the script has been workshopped in Russia. This presentation explores how the practice of performance ethnography is enlivened and challenged when put in conversation with disability ethics and aesthetics, and how the process of staging a play about disability in Russia on US university campuses uncovered new observations about American preconceptions about Russia and disability rights as a global category.
Sponsored by The Department of Anthropology and the Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies
Please direct access and accessibility requests to Kristin Bright in the Department of Anthropology email@example.com
Photo credit: Jim Carmody
- Sponsored by:
- Mahaney Arts Center; Gender, Sexuality, & Fem Studies; Anthropology