what about a ‘less-ableist’ status?

By anonymous

I don’t know your concept of a human being, but for me, I consider myself aligned with not only one definition, identity, status or condition. I experience myself as a compilation of various states and markers. I’m shifting through, I’m patchworked by, and I’m part of multiple. However, the labour and unemployment laws for artists within the Flemish Community (and most likely the same for other laws, sectors and governmental bodies) do not consider the possibility of such a multitude.

According to the legislation of social security, it is not possible to receive the official art worker’s status while holding the official invalidity status, or weave through them depending on the current status quo of ability. Of course abilities change over time. That means that if you need social security support to supplement for missing income due to AN inability to work (Inkomensvervangende tegemoetkoming – IVT), you cannot also follow the official trajectory of an artist. If you are in the position of being differently abled, and you consider yourself an artist – and you might even want to make these two specifiers productive for each other – this productivity may not be ‘high performing’ in financial terms according to what is expected in this particular capitalist system. You will have to decide on one or the other status. Either you care for yourself, or you follow your artistic practice, but both together are not part of a legal concept in this country, even though it would make a lot of sense to not reduce the identity of a disabled artist to their disability. How is that supportive?

I’m sure it would be easy to adapt this law – if one would look a bit closer at the reality of people’s actual contributions and efforts to the good and bettering of our society.