Re-Presenting Disability in the Postmodern Era: A Study of Historiography in P. H. Reaks*: The Hidden History of People with Disabilities


  • Betty Elsa Jacob, Helen Unius Backiavathy, J. Sundarsingh


Disability has become a visible entity only in the postmodern era. Historiography has been used widely by many writers in the process of claiming identities, however much less in the field of disability. The play P. H. Reaks*: The Hidden History of People With Disability, a collaborative work in disability theatre has used many fictional elements like frame story, comic parodies and love scenes, in order to exhume characters from the historical past and to house them into the modern setting. Several instances adapted from historical resources, have been retold by various playwrights. This collaborative project itself becomes a metonym for the community identity they envisioned. The critique looks at how historicising disability has caused its re-presentation, thereby leading to a collective consciousness and has helped in forming an “imagined community” as Anderson envisioned. The historicising has also enabled the disabled people to envision a reversal of roles and also to reclaim their identities.