“Inclusion” and “accessibility”, as I intend them, don’t just apply to transfers, removal of architectonical barriers, access to work. All these fields are very important, better essential, for a good life. But it isn’t less important, as we’ve stated many times, the chance to fully live also an aspect that’s too often underestimated (or totally neglected) of all the people life, including those with any disability: affectivity in all its sides. This is what “Diversamente Amore” (“Diversely Love”) is about. The show was broadcasted some days ago by Rai2 (and can still be watched for a few days on Raiplay.it), presented- better: narrated- by the paralympic champion Bebe Vio.
“Diversamente Amore” narrates, through the direct protagonists, the love stories of five “diverse” couples, that is with at least one of them having any disability. From their daily life, substantially, emerges a message: beyond the specific conditions of people (and the specific needs they imply), a disabled person (whatever the disability is) can love and be loved exactly like anyone else. Limits imposed by her disability condition don’t imply, by themselves, the impossibility to love, nor, even less so, to be loved… even by totally “able-bodied” people.
The idea “Diversamente Amore” starts from is, for sure, good. In a social context where, despite the progresses made in these decades, it’s still normal, for people with a visible disability, feeling as they have “all eyes on themselves” (and not to admire them…), being alternatively seen as “poor sods” to pity (or to avoid, or, in extreme cases, to persecute and use to pour out the worse instincts, as some sad chronicles recall) or “heroes” to be exalted for their “courage”, “strength”, whatever can remember that also who has a disability, beyond his own specific issues, faces exactly the same problems as everyone else (work, love stories, daily problems, etc.) is welcome. Also, the tone of voice used during the narration avoids (almost always, at least) pietism, which too often is typical of these experiments.
But… I don’t know what you think, but, while watching the show, I felt like something was missing. What? Well, for sure, picking just five stories to represent the multi-faced world of disability wasn’t an easy task. But, except for some secondary changes, situations and daily problems narrated in at least two stories were very similar, not to say almost overlayable. Maybe that’s why I’m involved in this, but it would have been nice to watch also stories which differentiate themselves from the die-hard stereotype “motoric disability = wheelchair”. Furthermore, it seemed to me that, also in this case, there was too much focus on the “heroic” side of the couples, their “courage” to get and stay together, both from the “diverse” and the “normal” part of them. That’s true: staying with someone with an “important” disability isn’t always easy. But staying with someone else, even when there’s no disability involved, isn’t always a bed of roses, with St. Valentine’s hearts and cuteness, is it?
An ancient proverb says: “Anything is better than nothing”. So, let’s take what’s good (and that’s a lot) in “Diversamente Amore” and hope that next experiments about this topic will increasingly show the normality of feelings, before the “diversity” among people who are linked by them.