The Art of Overcoming: Kwasi Akonnor’s Self-Portrait as a Cervical Dystonia Survivor


This research article investigates Kwasi Akonnor's self-portrait as a cervical dystonia survivor and its potential as a visual representation of resilience and empowerment. Cervical dystonia is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary muscle contractions in the neck, leading to abnormal head movements and postures. Akonnor's self-portrait, accompanied by a narrative, portrays his personal journey through cervical dystonia, including his struggles and triumphs. Using qualitative methods, this study analyzes Akonnor's self-portrait and narrative to explore themes of disability, identity, and creativity. The analysis reveals how Akonnor's self-portrait serves as a visual representation of his lived experience and his unique perspective on the role of art in coping and healing. The findings of this study suggest that Akonnor's self-portrait provides an alternative perspective on disability, one that emphasizes the importance of embracing one's disability as a part of their identity. Akonnor's use of creativity as a means of empowerment and self-expression highlights the transformative power of art in the lives of individuals with disabilities. By examining how Akonnor's art helps him cope, this study contributes to the growing body of literature on disability and the arts by highlighting the potential of visual art as a means of promoting resilience and empowerment. The findings of this study have implications for practitioners working with individuals with disabilities, as well as for disability studies scholars interested in exploring the role of creativity in disability identity formation and empowerment.

Author Information
Francis Ankyiah, University of Education–Winneba, Ghana

Paper Information
Conference: KAMC2023
Stream: Difference/Identity/Ethnicity

This paper is part of the KAMC2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Ankyiah F. (2023) The Art of Overcoming: Kwasi Akonnor’s Self-Portrait as a Cervical Dystonia Survivor ISSN: 2436-0503 – The Kyoto Conference on Arts, Media & Culture 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon