Image representing dyslexia on #WordyMonday

Zamira Kate's Six Years Behind at Moving Words in the Chisenhale Dance Space (c) Carole Edrich 2014

Zamira Kate’s Six Years Behind at Moving Words in the Chisenhale Dance Space (c) Carole Edrich 2014

I’ve chosen the word ‘dyslexia’ to interpret in photographic form as part of today’s WordyMonday word because of the lasting impression left on me by a curation by Zamira Kate (her first, I’m lead to understand) a month ago.

The wonderfully creative Andrea Queens invited me to shoot her work at the event, so of course I stayed for the lot. Full of strong, original pieces (I plan to tell you more about the others over the next few weeks, the only reason I’ve not done so before is because I’ve had no time) ‘Six Years Behind’ was by the curator herself.

Years ago I remember my friend Lesley explaining how dyslexia worked for (and against) her. Having been shown the very different way she organised her life and projects, how she used and perceived patterns differently and what she built from it, I’ve often thought that my ideal personal assistant would be someone who could think like that. Who better to make sure that I’ve covered everything appropriate than someone who thought with such a very different structure!

You’ll see from this I’ve never really considered dyslexia to be a disability, but simply as another way of perceiving and dealing with the world. I knew that previous generations weren’t so tolerant, but thought that a better understanding of the condition was now built in to the education system.

That’s why the way that this choreography dealed with the condition gave me a huge shock. The theme; how dyslexics’ brains work while reading, the complexity of it all, coping methods was no surprise. I knew it from Lesley and other dyslexic friends. But the refrain, the pain behind the words and the irresponsibly gross insensitivity of any adult to talk to any child in the way that was portrayed still makes a shiver run down my spine and the idea that such bigotry can be released on anyone has me alternating between wanting to cry and wanting to shake those responsible until they reconsider.

The oft-repeated words were simple, something like; “when I was little, they told me I was six years behind. Does that mean I was zero?”