Navild Acosta and Fannie Sosa

Disability Justice emerged in the early 2000s when, in the words of Patty Berne, various gatherings of "brown and queer crips" forged "a vision and practice of a yet-to-be," a fully intersectional understanding of disability, centering black, brown, and queer experiences. Since that time, such collectives as Sins Invalid have begun to transform the landscape of Disability Arts.

In dialogue with these ideas, the installation Black Power Naps by Navild Acosta and Fannie Sosa at the Museum of Modern Art poses a question that recalls the work of Audre Lorde: "How can we dream when we don’t sleep?" In Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto, Tricia Hersey, founder of the "Nap Ministry," argues for the radical potential of rest for Black people in the United States. Black Power Naps begins from a similar awareness that "Black people in the United States are twice as likely to get insufficient sleep, compared with white people, "and that the so-called "sleep gap" is worse for disabled people, those who are undocumented, and those with lowest incomes (MoMA). The title merges allusions to the Black Power Movement and the corporate "power nap," hailed as a means of increased productivity. By contrast, this installation offers visitors a room in which to rest while sitting or lying down, with low lighting and calm soundscapes. One small space in the busy museum is claimed as a place for radical rest, rather than for productivity or the consumption of art.

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.

The Artists

Links to artists, with an image representing each artist that is explored in further detail on the artist's page.