Suleika Jaouad’s Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of A Life Interrupted (2021) is an account of illness, diagnosis, treatment, and the search for community in the midst of profound isolation. Jaouad was 22 when she received the diagnosis of leukemia and began four years of intensive in-patient treatment. Jaouad’s title references Susan Sontag’s Illness As Metaphor (first published in 1978; revised with AIDS and Its Metaphors in 1989). Sontag wrote that we all possess “dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick.” Jaouad’s memoir seeks to depict that border as a fluid one. The book details the effects of years of medical treatment while also questioning notions of “recovery” in relation to the strictures of class, race, and privilege that threaten community and connection.
About This Site
A Picture of Health: Jo Spence, a Politics of Disability and Illness is a multi-pronged project curated by Kenny Fries and Elisabeth Frost.
In 1986 the British artist, educator, and activist Jo Spence (1934-1992) described the question fundamental to her work: “how to represent a body in crisis.” Spence’s work reveals powerful political and artistic responses to the experience of inhabiting such a body and is as timely as ever. This website places her work in the context of the lived experience of chronic illness and of contemporary Disability Arts.