Panel discussion and screening of Aerobics a Love Story.
In cooperation with Umeå University
Characters with disabilities have been present in cinema throughout history. However, most of the time these characters have been used as metaphors or depicted as stereotypes. Research into film and disability from the last 20 years have shown that characters with disabilities are often depicted as deviant. Recurring stereotypes are the victim, the super-crip, the villain, the eternal child and the asexual – these stereotypes have not been subjected to much change over the course of time. More complex and nuanced characters have been called for from the disability community, in particular characters portrayed by actors with disabilities themselves. This panel discussion on film and disability from a research perspective focus on questions such as: How are people with disabilities depicted? Sweden vs. USA? What recurring discourses and stereotypes are there? Are there examples of films that challenges stereotypical storytelling? Which actors play the roles of characters with disabilities? How accessible is film as a medium?
Catherine J. Kudlick, Professor of History (San Francisco State University, USA) and Director of Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability and Director of Superfest Disability Film Festival. Studies historical representations of disability.
Karin Ljuslinder, associate professor in media and communications studies. Studies representations of disability in old and new media.
Josefine Wälivaara, Ph.D. in drama-theatre-film. Studies normativity, disability, and sexuality in popular cinema.