FRArt The Illness Narratives - tools for narrative and artistic emancipation

1. The Illness Narratives: introduction

  • type: Article
  • ref: DOC.2023.84
  • Creation date: November 1 2023
  • tags: personal narratives, illness, feminist, biopolitics
  • Laurie Charles, Rue de Livourne, a series of two paintings_1_bd.jpg
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The project explores numerous narratives of illness as tools of narrative and artistic emancipation. It aims to re-illuminate the notion of health through a feminist and collaborative approach. By virtue of my own experience of illness in dialogue with that of other sick artists and through visual, theoretical and literary works, this research proposes to rewrite a history of illness by means of subjective narration, autopathographic stories and visual practices. There is an urgent need to add new narratives to those delineated by the ableist and productivist society: a normative and oppressive history of bodies.
This research sets forth to bring together the fields of art and medical history. It relies on a network of contemporary artists, curators and writers as well as historical female figures working on the notion of health. While exploring illness as biopolitical narratives in artistic productions, the research will map a counter-history of medicine within health care protest movements and collectives that approach the subject as an artistic manifesto. It will also look at the Patients' University, which transforms the experience of the sick into expertise. Asserting that personal narratives are sites of resistance to sterile, universalising medical science, the research intends to submit the missing part by critically inverting the dominant story through a collaborative writing process. Plural narratives with multiple media languages oppose the hermetic and totalising language of biomedical analysis.
The research will be articulated around different phases: a phase of collecting references and writing with the collaborators, a phase of documentation in the field within the different institutions or communities, a phase of transmission and a phase of dissemination and publication.