Disability Liberated: Behind the Scenes with Kiyaan Abadani

My name is Kiyaan Abadani and the performance
I did was Khosh Aamadid, and it was a storytelling piece where I spoke about different ways in
which my body and mind have been policed in various contexts and at a certain point I
sung a lullaby — a Farsi lullaby. I really appreciated the way I was able to
speak about various um parts of my identities and lived experiences and to do it while I
— and to include, like, Farsi was my first language so, like, to include, you know, bits
of my diasporic Iranian self with my, you know, my trans self, and my crip self and
just, different, different things. So I appreciated the — it was nice to do a piece where I was
able to come into it with more parts of myself all at once. And also it was the first time my story told
about very vulnerable experiences in my life. And I think that, you know, there was a certain
amount of — I’m lucky that, or I’m grateful that I’ve had access to do enough healing
to be able to tell, tell that story. I really appreciated that this, that the experience
was about. you know centralizing, multiply marginalized disabled people, and I especially
appreciated that it, that it included both people who are not currently institutionalized
and people who are incarcerated, and that those people were folks who were closely in
community with people who were in the show. So it was nice not to, you know, for it not
to just be folks who are not currently institutionalized, and to have incarcerated folks present, and
to talk about again, not just in terms of prison-industrial complex, but the just various
ways in which — to include that and other institutions in how a body and a non-conforming
body and mind can get policed — can get policed and treated and confined. So I — that was
really amazing. It was difficult to process, like, it was
one of the first times I was speaking about certain things, especially, like, related
to madness and stuff in front of more than a very intimate friend, so and I was going
through stuff at the time, so the process was like, you know, yeah, it was a process,
and yeah! It was really, it was really helpful to have
somebody I trusted being the artistic director and checking in, and checking in even about,
like, how was I doing during the process and being, being there.

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