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Southern Bodies in Northern Wars: Disability as Testimony of Violence

Researcher name: Bruno Sena Martins

The following project will analyse experiences and reflexions of disabled persons as constructive testimonies for a social critique, particularly in what concerns former combatants of Portuguese Colonial War (1961-1974) and victims of the Bhopal Disaster (1984). Frequently held as “strange bodies” of social memory, disabled persons will be at the core of this project as sensitive indicators of the unending violence through which the world order imposed by the global North proceeds. Consequently, by looking at how the intense exploration of resources under a capitalist accumulation – by means of modern colonial empires – has been sponsoring a multiplicity of armed conflicts and environmental hazards, we become confronted with silenced histories and lives forged by violence. Bodies uncelebrated by capitalism, therefore, emerge: bodies mutilated by war, famine and environmental disasters. We are face-to-face with testimonies of colonial violence, of capitalist violence and that of other types of violence which, disguised as silence and exclusion, deeply sets the social experience of disability.

Keywords: Disability, Colonialism, Capitalism, War, Environmental Disaster, Testimony
Countries of reference: India, Portugal