Louise Westerhout

Blood and Snow Manifesto


Created for the National Arts Festival, South Africa, 2020. Featured at IntegrArt Festival, Switzerland 2021, and ArtsAbility Festival, South Africa, 2021.

Blood and Snow Manifesto (2020) is Louise Westerhout’s intimate account of her journey through Stage 4 Lymphoma and disability. It embraces themes of illness, trauma, loss, disability, and mortality to explore how we construct subject or self, based on our own experiences and choices, and how those constructions are unavoidably influenced by the world around us. Posing the questions: how permeable are we and how strong is our immunity to this often sick and dangerous world? Is it possible to transform through suffering and loss and what, if any, is the difference between cure and healing? How does the long winter begin to turn to spring? This is a praise poem to the wonder of the unique aesthetic and choreography of the adapted body. It is a tribute to the extravagant beauty of the inimitable form. It opens discourse on crip p/leisure and grants the witness permission to gaze. The performance controls and redirects the ableist narrative by challenging, “you may look, but what you see will not be what you thought you would see.”

Youtube link to film teaser here: https://youtu.be/g0ksxF6QxHs

Review: https://weekendspecial.co.za/blood-and-snow-manifesto-review/

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