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(Un)Categorizing Albinism

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“Everything started with a little spot in the head, right up [by] my right ear! I don’t even remember the precise day or week I discovered it. Instead, I remember that it still hurts and I have a persistent headache!” Fadhili said with a feeble voice brightened by a soft smile. As our discussion of his health continued, he kept …

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Integration

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In one of several letters he wrote to me during my fieldwork, Serge addressed what he considered to be the problems of integration for disabled people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Writing this letter in November 2013, he reflected on the upcoming International Day of Persons with Disabilities on the 3rdof December. “Across the world,” he wrote, …

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development

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Umm Adnan,[i] like many women I met during my research on Down Syndrome and kinship in Jordan, was extremely protective of her son Adnan. The youngest of four, Adnan was constantly battling sickness. His health issues, in conjunction with Down Syndrome, marked the toddler as especially vulnerable, and Umm Adnan reacted by cultivating her own brand of fierce maternal …

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Lateral Solidarity

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It was the afternoon of December 31st. Dinner had been served in the bedrooms of the rehabilitation clinic, but Ms. Dats decided that hers could wait: She had been in Guadeloupe for a month already, but hadn’t sat outside much. That night, she’d rather watch the sky and chat for a bit. At home, she used an electric wheelchair and …

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Micro-activist Affordances

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I met Ahmet, a disabled young man, during a visual ethnography I conducted in Istanbul, Turkey (2009), where I worked with people with disabilities related to rheumatoid arthritis – a chronic, painful disease, affecting the joints. During our interview, I ask Ahmet what type of toilets he prefers, knowing that in Turkey, toilets are typically squat and hardly ever accessible. …

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Disability in and through Rural Worlds

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The vast majority of disabled people in the Global South inhabit rural worlds and their experiences are shaped by material, relational, and social specificities of rurality, and yet disability at the intersection of rurality remains under-theorized in the Southern context. I use the term rurality to describe a phenomenon that encapsulates the cultural, social, and spatial dimensions of rural lives, …

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