Sunday, 16 March 2008

Yes or No?




If you have time, take a few minutes to watch the whole video before you decide what you think.

7 comments:

Jake said...

To be honest I do not know what to think. The video had me covering my eyes at times for fear of something jumping out at me. But I get your gist about the music. (I think I do)

Tayi said...

The idea of the disabled as innocent angels kind of irritates me, but this depiction was less humanity-denying than a lot of "angel" depictions are. I think on the whole I say yes, but then I'm a fan of Sigur Ros.

Donimo said...

Mostly, I would say no to this. I think the wee fairy wings signify a cuteness/smallness/innocence that is an offensive cliche for people with Down's (and other disabilities). It could have been a strong video if they had allowed the dancers more dignity, I think. The quotes at the beginning made me think of music expressing the inexpressible and what the video producer is saying about the people who have Down's. Are they suggesting that music is a complex language that can express the mystery of having a disability that affects your thinking? Or that people with Down's are closer to angels because they are "simple"? Is this a dance troupe? What's their intent with this piece? Did they have agency? So many questions!

And what do you think?

seahorse said...

It's a reluctant no from me. I surprised myself with the strength of my reaction. I love Sigur Ros and I think I know what they were trying to communicate. And I don't think they intentionally denied the actors dignity or self-expression by including them in a work designed to communicate a message about disability, about self-expression, about feelings. But half way through watching I just became uncomfortable. It didn't sit right with me. I wondered about the angel symbolism and it perplexed, and then offended me. I was moved by the kiss, but then I realised that the moment stood alone, away from all the fairy/angel trappings. I know that my non-disabled perspective would have been very different to my disabled one. But I am disabled so my view is, dare I say, more enlightened than those who think they are enlightened but sadly are not. It's a beautiful piece of music and I know that Sigur Ros would never set out to offend. The YouTube comments suggest that the actors are part of a theatre group in Iceland. The word special is used within that comment. Grrr. The film provoked a complex reaction in me. It's why I asked Yes or No?

marmiteboy said...

I was quite uncomfortable with it too. I don't like seeing disabled people being used in roles that reinforce stereotypes and this video did just that I think it was just too cute for its own good and perpetuated the myth that all people with Downs as child like. I am a huge fan of Sigur Ros too but this was a mistake. I fail to see the relevance of using disabled actors force this piece. It is kind of like having black actors portraying some kind of Uncle Tom racial stereotype.

Thanks for posting it though Seahorse as it has been an interesting debate.

Hope you are feeling better today.

seahorse said...

Marmite and Donimo, Tayi and Jake it's a perplexing one, especially if you love the band involved. But again, it's an example of non-disabled people missing the mark, I feel.

donimo said...

I'm glad you posted it, too. It is interesting to talk about this stuff with other folks who have disabilities.

If you get a chance to look at the TV milk ads I just posted on Chronic Holiday, I would love to get your take on them - you being a mum and all. Can I lure you into another discussion? :)