“Distancing and Disfigurement: Reactions to the Marked Body” Website

Student: Kayla Zamanian (SFS’23)

Distancing and Disfigurement is a virtual museum exhibit examining the historical and cultural experiences of disfigurement in individuals and communities. The collection of works strives to show that while the context of disfigurement can change — whether caused by leprosy or breast cancer or transformed into a public spectacle — one thing remains the constant: the distance held between the ‘normal’ public and the ‘abnormal,’ marked body. By bringing a variety of artistic mediums and narratives into conversation with one another, this exhibit strives to challenge the idea of what is “fit to be seen” and to bring you closer to the lived experiences of individuals with disfigurement. Distancing and Disfigurement hopes to add nuance and sensitivity to the way we understand disfigurement and to spark critical dialogue about broader questions of power, justice, and liberation.  

"Distancing and Disfigurement: Reactions to the Marked Body" virtual exhibition poster. There are five images: first: a human figure drawing a large circle on the ground, second: the human figure entering the circle and pointing to the center, third: the human figure outside the circle, pointing to the center, fourth: the human figure outside the circle, facing backwards, and fifth: a human figure wearing a jacket, being held and surrounded by three pairs of arms. Text on the footer: 14 December 2021-24 August 2022. Isolated. Sensationalized. Erased. The Museum of Medical Humanities