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AuthorHenrietta Bollinger

Author Archive: Henrietta Bollinger

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May 22, 2017

I am fourteen or so lying on a table for an x-ray. This is a familiar prone position, I lie and look up at the machine and breathe out, wait for the gentle click, the light that makes me feel like I am being photocopied. I notice the body of the machine has been decorated […]

May 8, 2017

I am generally wary of giving language too much power to define ourselves. Intersectional thinking is urgently needed for people to claim space. I shy away from the way it seems to have been adopted in popular use, turning every complex person into a list of nouns: Pākehā-cis-lesbian-crip-degree carrying-intersectional feminist. A list, rather than a […]

April 10, 2017

Education is an inherently ableist environment. This is a new thought, something I am only learning now in my own life, going on six years in the tertiary education system and many more as a young student. I have been lucky to find education and academic achievement to be by and large a safe place; […]

March 27, 2017

Thanks to a friend of mine I now have a business card. I keep a handful of them in the pocket of a green tweed jacket and it makes me feel a bit smug knowing they are there. It also helps me take on the world. They inform people that I am an ordinary human […]

March 13, 2017

Crip 101 Last year staffing cuts at the University of Waikato included the dismissal of senior staff in the Disability and Inclusion Studies Programme, which focuses on research into our inclusion in the education system. The reasons cited were predictable — low student numbers (read: money). Disability is neither lucrative nor pretty.  But cuts to […]

September 25, 2016

Having a disability has meant that since before I was born it has been the place of others to label, define, and interact with it. This has come mostly from the necessity of defining it for others. Labeling my body as disabled has made it recognizable to professionals so that I can get the support […]

September 11, 2016

You’ve been down, maybe it’s just that you have to be close to the ground for the world to speak; so the things you hear don’t punch you any lower because there’s bound to be mud and blood and worm-halves down there.   Ever since I started ‘growing up’ there have been people teaching me […]

August 14, 2016

A friend of mine keeps joking that I need to take the path of least resistance and just become professionally disabled. The way things are heading, she is probably right. Disability is an element of what I live, study, and talk about every day. This column is hardly helping my case. I used to swear […]

July 31, 2016

Over the break we had a win. Kiwi Robert Martin became the first person with a learning (intellectual) disability to be appointed to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, saying “people with a learning disability can do anything if they have the opportunities.” About time! My happiness was tempered by the […]