Black bodies are perceived as threatening. Disabled bodies are perceived as noncomplying.
I work my body against the presence of the police and the military.
The proportionally high number of tragic events experienced by Black or disabled people involving the police trigger memories of personal experiences or fears. Despite these reminders of a large underlying issue, the specific case of black disabled people hasn’t been investigated further. Nevertheless, for the last few years, there has been more attention in media and activist circles to how disability plays a role in police violence toward black people during specific tragic events and to the participation of black disabled people in multiple social movements.
Addressing this issue is obviously a hard task for an individual encountering the police. But it is also the case for people protesting and marching the streets in groups to raise awareness on this issue. We are witnessing an increasing militarization of police at all levels. Vehicles and arms that were usually associated with the armed forces are more and more acquired and displayed by police, including municipal and patrol elements. Groups who protest and march are susceptible to meeting this militarized police, in a situation where communication, trust, and safety are already deeply compromised. If we extend the perspective, we can also acknowledge that the police and the armed forces produce impairment, inside the country for the first one, and outside the country for the latter.
I am not able to put my left hand behind my back, which is a well-known order coming from the police. I can be in danger simply for being black and disabled. I applied contact and pressure between my body and the Canadian Armed Forces’ building to get to that dangerous and painful position and present my reshaped body to the building of the police. The transformation of the buildings is invisible and symbolic, the transformation of my body is visible and concrete. I used that moment to evoke what some basic state violence can do to me.
Force et Forme – Partie I
֎ 2022.04.02 | Infiltration/intervention, Downtown Montreal, Canada
֍ Po B. K. Lomami
2022 – The Concordian