The AutistiX Rock!
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Here is a wonderful counterpoint to the scare-tactic media that’s easy to find where people portray Autism as a terror, something that steals children away and breaks up families. (Note: These particular videos by a particular group don’t feature actual Autistic people sharing their perspectives, which ought to be a red flag if you’re looking for info on what it’s like to live as an Autistic person.) This is The AutistiX, a heavy metal band from the UK. Their short documentary is below, and it is Closed Captioned.
One thing I love about the documentary is it doesn’t spend time listing out symptoms the way a lot of disability-related media does even when the media is supposed to be covering art. There seems to be this unstoppable urge for content creators to focus on medical aspects of disability in a lot of places where that’s not actually the topic. So I always notice, with much happiness, when those details aren’t the focus and we can get to the heart of meeting the people and enjoying their artwork. The film doesn’t try to cast Autism as a tragedy nor a heavenly gift. At the same time, there’s no “see the ability, not the disability” rhetoric or claiming that these guys “just happen” to have Autism, but that they’re great musicians anyway. Nope. Just a straight up documentary about a group of Autistic dudes, their music mentor, and their metal. The fact that they named their band The AutistiX speaks to the sense they have of Autism being a part of their everyday lives and experiences rather than a gift or a curse.
You’ll hear primarily from two of the three Autistic band members, some family members, and the band’s mentor. There’s also lots of great performance and rehearsal footage, including their show at Autism’s Got Talent, which one of the musicians describes as better and more interesting than Britain’s Got Talent! Their music is great, and the lyrics cover a wide range of topics, not just disability art.
Visit their site, especially their video page: www.theautistix.com/video.html to see their music and performance videos. I wanted to share the documentary in this post because I do so love documentaries! Rock on, AutistiX!