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(MDSAA) Body Bags

Body Bags is a micro-project undertaken by Prakash Krishnan as part of the “Mobilizing disability survival skills for the urgencies of the Anthropocene” (MDSSA) Project funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant (PI, Arseli Dokumaci). 

This project seeks to illustrate methodologies used by chronic pain to supplement the lack of adequate health care support for certain marginalized communities (disabled, chronically ill, rural, First Nations, racialized, allophones, etc.). Referencing an incident in which Health Canada had sent dozens of body bags to Wasagamack and God’s River First Nations in Manitoba ahead of a possible swine flu outbreak, this project borrows the title “Body Bags” exploring how those living in chronic pain and with inadequate institutional care are adapting their environments to bring elements comfort and support to themselves and their communities.

“Body Bags” employs sewing and garment creation foundations as an autoethnographic methodology to document how are where pain lives in my body. From mapping the contours of my body, I will develop a variety of sewing patters in order to develop a series of unique soft sculptures/pillows to provide structural support and comfort during pain flare ups. I will experiment with a variety of techniques and forms that can be articulated together to create new, skeletal structures. These sculptures will be stuffed with local and biodegradable materials to lessen their environmental impact. The project also includes a skill-share portion in which I will lead workshops teaching others how to make these supportive tools for themselves.