Remembering Patrice, Graphic Artist With A Golden Hand
It is with great sadness that I recently learned about the passing of Patrice Méaume. Late last year, Patrice died from a heart attack while out playing soccer with friends. Unfortunately, his passing came only weeks before his first child was born.
Patrice was an incredible artist and an outspoken advocate for people with a disability. He constantly tried to shift the narrative. For him being disabled had nothing to do with being either the object of pity or heroism. With a witty sense of humour and a keen eye he portrait us as we are. His work celebrates the immense richness of our lives.
Patrice was featured on The Active Amputee in April of 2019. Today I am reposting his pictures and the short texts he sent me back then. Today I want to remember Patrice, his work and his efforts as a disability rights advocate.
"Hello! I Am Patrice!"
I was born different, without my right hand. And I am thankful for my family and friends who know that I'm someone normal who just has one hand. I'm lucky. Throughout my life I quickly realized that having only one hand raises questions and provokes dialogue. My career in communication, I'm art director, has allowed me to see that often people with disabilities were represented in extremes: I.e. situations of dependency, illness or on the contrary with exceptional accomplishments.
So I've decided to launch a series of illustrations representing people with disabilities living normally, defending my pro-active and optimistic vision of disability: People with disabilities are different, but it's normal to be different!
I recently started another important activity; i.e. the normal-persons.com clothing line dedicated
to physically different people. With a bit of provocation and humor. Claiming back the body we have. So let's be proud to be who we are, let’s be proud to be how we were born.
Claiming Back The Bodies We Have
J.B. Alaize: A tribute and an example for all, J.B. Alaize is a survivor of the war in his homeland Burundi, an Olympic medalist, a world champion and long jumper.
Here I wanted to show how love can be great if you accept the difference of the person in front of you, no matter this person's handicap, skin color or origin.
I know there are a lot of differences among the people with disabilities. But whatever they are, you always have the choice between suffering and fighting. I choose.
Be happy, proud of yourself, love your image. You're beautiful if you decide to be.
Do what you want to do, even if they told you it was not for you.
Desire to have a child as an amputee
(amputee parenthood special I)
Today we start with another special. A series of articles dedicated to a one special topic, one specific challenge or one impressive person. And this week it’s all about being an amputee parent. Even without a limb difference, the idea of suddenly being responsible for a child can be daunting. Immense joy is regularly mixed with feelings of fear and being completely overwhelmed. Often even more so if you are an amputee. So throughout the course of this week we hear from four amputees, learning about their thoughts on parenthood. Jasmin, a young women from Germany with an above knee amputation - and a regular contributor to The Active Amputee - kicks-off our Spring Special. read more
Pregnancy after surviving an avalanche
(amputee parenthood special II)
Joanna lost her leg in a mountaineering accident. She has what is called a Chopart amputation. That means that she has retained a load- bearing heel bone and heel pad. However, due to a needed shortening her amputation presents as a Symes (which is an amputation through the heel bone). Joanna can walk short distances without a prosthesis. Only a few years after her accident, Joanna is expecting her first child. In this personal article she shares her experience of being pregnant while still getting used to her new life as an amputee. read more
Oh baby, we are going to have kids
(amputee parenthood special III)
Oh no! This can’t be right! I looked at the positive home pregnancy test again. Come on, make that color change some more. I sat still for a while and waited. Pregnancy was not on my list of things to do right now. Nine months earlier I’d lost both legs above the knee and my right arm just below the shoulder in a train vs car accident. I learned to walk with prostheses using a quad cane and was planning to move back to Los Angeles where I would live by myself and finish the last nine months of my Radiology residency. My thump-thud, toy-soldier walk was loud and looked funny but got me where I needed to go. Doing things with one hand was becoming easier. But am I ready for a pregnancy? read more