March 19th: More than a Place: Institutional Thinking and Disability

Posted: March 1, 2016 by admin in Uncategorized


Location: now 266 Epworth Ave, King’s University College, Wemple Building, Room 175

Time: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Prisoners’ Justice Film Festival and People First of London presents: The “Freedom Tour”

Full ASL translation will be available
The film will be close-captioned
Our location is physically accessible, including accessible washrooms
Active Listeners will be present to offer support to those who find they need it during the film and afterwards
We are unfortunately unable to offer childcare and so we apologize to all those who this may inconvenience

Description: This section features the powerful documentary, “The Freedom Tour”, which follows the journey of activists fighting to close down institutions for people diagnosed with intellectual disabilities.  The documentary is created by People First of Canada, an activist group that consists of people labeled with intellectual disabilities who push back against the oppressive systems that have marginalized them from the rest of society. As their website states, “We see ourselves as people first, and as people who have taken back control of our lives from families, policy makers and professionals such as support workers, doctors, social workers, and others, who, for far too long, made decisions for us.”

–People First of Canada
The documentary follows a group of activists with intellectual disabilities in their travels across the country to interview current residents and survivors of residential institutions.  While the documentary does not focus on people who have been convicted of crimes and incarcerated, the segment is an important piece that demonstrates the ways in which the prison industrial complex works on multiple levels. This includes the institutionalization, segregation, silencing, devaluation, and invisibilization of people  with disabilities who have historically been deemed unworthy and incapable of living “productive” lives in our society and who continue to face and resist these dangerous assumptions and the practices that perpetuate inequality.The film will be introduced at 1:00 pm by People First members who helped make the film and will be followed by a brief break.
Following the break, around 2:25 pm, for those who wish to stay we will be having a discussion about the ongoing de-institutionalization efforts across Canada and the ongoing effects of the institutional thinking that continues alive and well in society and perpetuates the marginalization of people diagnosed with disabilities through prisons, nursing homes, psychiatric units, long-term care facilities, and many other ways.
Warning: The Freedom Tour deals with a lot of difficult themes including institutional abuse, sexual abuse, solitary confinement, and suicide, among others. If you have ever lived in an institution or are connected with anyone who has, you may find this a difficult watch. While all are welcome, if you feel this showing is not right for you, we nonetheless welcome anyone who wants to attend the discussion portion only to participate in the conversation about ongoing institutionalization in Canada.
To view the Trailer of the Freedom Tour:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *