Mapping disability politics through cyborg coalitions

Chiara Montalti


This essay aims to craft intersections between the figure of the cyborg and disability that part from the usual ones. I will frame disability advocacy through the concept of “cyborg politics”, as proposed by Donna J. Haraway in her famous Cyborg Manifesto (1991). I will discern two possible meanings of it, affinity and avidity. I will examine how affinity is performed within disability identity and politics, mentioning the positioning of Deaf advocacy too. Afterwards, I will most extensively frame the concept of avidity, presenting an example of restrooms politics, PISSAR, in which disabled and trans/genderqueer people collaborated. I will also examine how this last intersection let emerge additional concerns, especially rooted in gender normativity. In conclusion, I will underline the positive impacts that a mobile politics, based on affinity and avidity, had (and can still have) for disability advocacy.

Keywords: restrooms, Cyborg Manifesto, advocacy, gender, Deaf community.

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