This article aims to investigate the ways in which the various forms of physical and mental disabilities are perceived and represented in Swahili oral and written literature (proverbs and some selected Swahili novels and short stories). Thinking about the concept of disability as a cultural construct – strictly connected to a rooted belief system – and to local policies related to the problem of social exclusion that in recent years have increasingly developed in the Swahili-speaking East African context, disability continues to be an interesting research topic. Although the movement for the rights of the people with disabilities (PWD) dates back to the colonial period, local media (newspapers and television) continue to propose images of deformed bodies feeding the stereotype of the disabled as a representation of the “other”, creating ever more discrimination. In such a context full of contradictions I will try to explore the role of literature and media in its educational and popularizing function and, in particular, how disabled people are perceived in collective imaginary.

Disabling Stereotypes: the Perception and Representation of Disability in Swahili Oral and Written Literature

Graziella Acquaviva
2020

Abstract

This article aims to investigate the ways in which the various forms of physical and mental disabilities are perceived and represented in Swahili oral and written literature (proverbs and some selected Swahili novels and short stories). Thinking about the concept of disability as a cultural construct – strictly connected to a rooted belief system – and to local policies related to the problem of social exclusion that in recent years have increasingly developed in the Swahili-speaking East African context, disability continues to be an interesting research topic. Although the movement for the rights of the people with disabilities (PWD) dates back to the colonial period, local media (newspapers and television) continue to propose images of deformed bodies feeding the stereotype of the disabled as a representation of the “other”, creating ever more discrimination. In such a context full of contradictions I will try to explore the role of literature and media in its educational and popularizing function and, in particular, how disabled people are perceived in collective imaginary.
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https://brill.com/view/journals/stma/18/1/article-p1_1.xml
disability, albinism, ableism, Swahili literature, stigma
Graziella Acquaviva
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1743518
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