Blood and Snow Manifesto is Louise Westerhout’s intimate account of her journey through Stage 4 Lymphoma and disability. It embraces themes of illness, trauma, loss, disability, and mortality to explore how we construct subject or self, based on our own experiences and choices, and how those constructions are unavoidably influenced by the world around us. Posing the questions: how permeable are we and how strong is our immunity to this often sick and dangerous world? Is it possible to transform through suffering and loss and what, if any, is the difference between cure and healing? How does the long winter begin to turn to spring? This is a praise poem to the wonder of the unique aesthetic and choreography of the adapted body. It is a tribute to the extravagant beauty of the inimitable form. It opens discourse on crip p/leisure and grants the witness permission to gaze. The performance controls and redirects the ableist narrative by challenging, “you may look, but what you see will not be what you thought you would see.”
Concept, visuals, text: Louise Westerhout
Editing: Louise Bruwer
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Louise Westerhout is a performance artist, published poet, curator, yogi, Reiki Master, therapist, cancer survivor, disabled person. Her work is dedicated to exploration on themes of consciousness, environment, healing, the body. She is the founder, director and curator of Body Politic which has, since its inception in 2018 shown the work of 57 artists. Her primary focuses this year (Belluard Bollwerk Festival 2020 Switzerland, yoga instructor at Nomad Yoga Teachers Institute in Krakow, Poland) have been cancelled so she is writing, gardening, doing self care and being patient.