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Backwards and Forwards: Queering the Crip and Cripping the Queer*

6. October 2022 20:00

Join this evening of discourse with Carrie Sandahl: in 2003,  she conceptualized the verb “to crip” to explore the affinities between queer and progressive disability communities. She extrapolated the concept from the verb “to queer”, which emerged in the 1980s and 1990s to describe representational strategies, used in queer communities to make visible and destabilize heterosexual norms. She drew on the similarities and crucial differences between how crips and queers see and represent their experiences by analyzing the work of solo performance artists who identified as both. Since 2003, the use of “to crip” or “cripping” has taken on a life of its own in academic and activist circles. Sandahl returns the term’s origin story that ground it in the lived experience of queer and disabled people and that point to future directions in activism, the arts, and academia.

Carrie Sandahl is a Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Disability and Human Development. She co-directs Chicago’s Bodies of Work, an organization that supports the development of disability art and culture. Her research and creative activity focus on disability identity in performance and film. Sandahl’s publications include a co-edited an anthology, Bodies in Commotion: Disability and Performance, which garnered the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s award for Outstanding Book in Theatre Practice and Pedagogy (2006).  Her collaboratively created documentary, Code of the Freaks, a critique of disability representations in cinema, premiered in 2020.


*The title for this talk nods to the theater artist and scholar David Ball, who in 1983, wrote the textbook, Backwards and Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays. Ball’s technique provides a set of tools to understand how a play works by studying its mechanics before creating meaning. Sandahl’s work focuses on how representational techniques of queering and cripping work together to create new meaning about the lived experience of disability and queerness.


The event will take place in English spoken language and will be interpretated into International Sign Language. The wearing of FPP2 masks in the exhibition halls is mandatory. If this is not possible due to access reasons, please inform us before your visit. Entry: 4€

The event will also be streamed on the YouTube channel of the Schwules Museum.


Access Information


The museum is accessible by public transport (details provided below).
There are no barrier-free parking spaces in the area.
There are a few public paid parking spaces in the immediate area.

Step-free entry for all visitors is possible via the courtyard. Please use the open gate to the left of the main entrance door. The entrance door to the museum is located on the right and will be open too.
If you encounter any problems ring the bell, or ring the contact phone number: 030 69 59 92 62

The path into the courtyard is paved.
It has a slight incline of less than 5%.
The entrance is the first door on the right. This is the café.
Wheelchairs or walking aids can be parked in a guarded area.
The exhibition rooms, café and library are accessible at ground level or via ramps and lifts.
There are two wheelchair-accessible toilets with fold-up grab bars.
The movement areas of the toilets are 130 x 150 cm in front of the WC.
The toilet in the foyer has 70 x 90 cm space to the right of the WC.
The toilet between rooms 3 and 4 has 70 x 90 cm space to the left of the WC.
The exhibits and information are mainly visible while sitting down.
The doors and passages in the museum are at least 90 cm wide.

Other information

There is a cloakroom with lockers.
Assistance dogs are permitted in all rooms.
The entrance is not designed to be visually contrasting.
Toilets are all-gender and single cubicles usable by function.

We strive to make information on barriers transparent and are working to reduce them further. If you have any tips or questions, please feel free to contact us: kontakt@schwulesmuseum.de or call 030 69 59 90 50

Public Transport

U Nollendorfplatz: U1, U2, U3 & U4, Bus M19, 106 & 187
U Kurfürstenstraße: U1
Lützowstraße/Potsdamer Straße: Bus M48 & M85