“Dyslexic Dislike”

PERFORMANCE (Crochet mask) - 2020

To whomever it may concern,

This is an open letter to multiple institutes in our society (such as medicine, education and family) that have led me down a path of dissociation from my body. I have been characterized by these instituts without acknowledgement as “disadvantaged”, however I now begin to recognize this is only relevant as I take part in their system. What I am speaking in reference to is my role in such systems when dealing with a learning disability that is Dyslexia.

I have been let down by these institutes as they all collaboratively went with the construction that my dyslexia was to be seen as a problem. Reinforcing the narrative of it being a taboo in all cornerstones of my life. In many ways I have undergone a process of “soft violence” where those around me, I believe, have had the right intention with their care however, having a harmful practice. This was a burden I have carried with me till this day and now am in the process of normalizing it as an act of mending.

Using the theoretical ideology that "The late capitalist model has alienated the human body to such a degree that we no longer are allowed to be human to be considered successful." by Rizmi, Uzma. in “Decolonization as Care.” Slow Reader: A Resource for Design Thinking and Practice, Eds. Strauss, Carolyn and Pais, Ana Paula. Amsterdam: Valiz, 2017. has allowed me to better understand the role of these institutes when it comes to how I have learnt to see myself and my self-worth. Growing up with so much embarrassment and frustration over not being able to control qualities that make me human, opposing to something of the extreme, has significantly hindered what bars I have set myself for success, as well as the bars these institutes set me.

Carrying on this ideology, I was able to identify coping patterns I have adopted in the past and am currently still utilizing. The patterns of choosing something to set me apart so I would not be entered in the same level of competition as my peers. Whether I have come to this decision on my own or it being what the system has conditioned me to do, is something still to be questioned. This method of self preservation has brought me to choose a discipline in the arts rather than Mathematics or Linguistics. Even within my major of Illustration and Design I see myself putting up a barrier to avoid the medium of drawing, as to force myself to be set apart as a 3D medium worker.

It's time for me to mend my relationship with my dyslexia and I urge these institutes to do the same when dealing with learning disabilities, so that they don't transcend as disabling people's identities as they have with me.


Victoria Di Gioia.