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WhatIsWhat 1.0 2003

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Unique Security Requirements

bill shannon, whatiswhat, disability politics

ABOVE: BLOWFISH STRATEGY. In my world of phenomenology and identification of sociological dynamics in public space the development of performed "strategies" as tools to unlock disable or otherwise transform the implications on my life of a given phenomena are important. The BLOWFISH STRATEGY is part of my engagement with the almost constant phenomena of AMBIGUITY OF DISABILITY. In other words... because my disability is very ambiguous, and made more so by the use of a skateboard I have many people trying to second guess me. This is to be expected and is a natural human reaction to the seeming incongruity of my physical arrival on skateboard and crutches. The phenomena of Ambiguity of Disability manifests itself as a sort of frozen state of interaction where the person engaging me is trying to make a decision about which way they are going to go with their judgement of the validiity of my need of the skateboard and crutches and thus they are not actually responding to me. Its kind of a far away look in their eye as they look at or over me. ( another phenomena I call MEDICAL VALIDATION also goes along with BLOWFISH and AMBIGUITY OF DISABILITY but I will discuss in another post as it relates as much to being on stage as it does to public situations.) anyway.. When engaging security and authority, and also when trying to keep moving without having to explain, documents and BLOWFISH go a long way. In this image I raise my leg up off the board to communicate that its my weaker and more painful leg even though, while true, I dont have to keep the leg off the board. I do this performance of the weaker leg to illustrate for strangers I am engaged with the reality of a disability that is not readily apparent to their naked eye. When it comes to security using BLOWFISH to inflate my invisible mobility limitations ( as far as my actual body moves ) is important to me keeping the things I need, namely, my skateboard. I used the above document in combination with a doctors letter to roll through airports and to most security in the airport it makes sense. The only airport security to confiscate my skateboard has been the security at Charles De Gaulle. Interestingly on the next trip to France I was not allowed up the Eiffel Tower because of my crutches. OF coure it could have easily been more of a cultural thing. Like skaters are dirty and destroy stuff and Americans are stupid .. disability has no role. Its really hard to know for sure sometimes.

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This Work, Unique Security Requirements, by Bill Shannon is licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA license.