We could’ve been Suffragettes. We could’ve been major civil rights supporters, and Bethany A. Hoppe, a paraplegic from Nashville, TN wants to dream of how things could’ve been had we been afforded equal rights, and she wants to do it through photos.
She feels (and she’s right) that women with disabilities have unfairly been left out of important moments in history, and she plans on rectifying this through creating an unprecedented photo-journalistic history book.
The title of the project is, “Pennhurst: The Divas Shall Rise places Women with Disabilities in American History & Culture via Photography, Research, Narrative” and the location for the shoot is so apropos it’ll make you want to spit: On the abandoned grounds of Pennhurst State Institution.
The book will show women with disabilities in places throughput history, showing what “might have been” they had full civil rights or were not forced into institutions, which occurred as recently as 1986. What would we have become…if given the opportunity? This book encourages the reader to dream.
A corporate leader, military personnel, an athlete, dancer, an actress, wife and mother; all roles we could never have until less than 30 years ago. And the first photos Bethany would like to see in the book would begin around the year 1908, when Pennhurst opened.
But of course a project of this magnitude, and at the quality it deserves, does not come cheap, so Bethany has turned to Kickstarter to raise $30,000 to help with the creation of the book, and I hope she gets the support she needs, from the disability community and beyond. The $30k will go towards every aspect, from shoot location and photographer fees to the end printing costs of the book.
To donate to what is guaranteed to be one heck of a photo-expose, visit the Pennhurst: The Divas Shall Rise Kickstarter page to donate a few bucks. The deadline is July 7th so make sure to help out before then.
It would be a tragedy for such an important idea to never come to fruitition.
What eras do you think the photos should cover?