Illustration of a cell phone camera lens

Two Thirds Of The Planet and the Disability Visibility Project are doing a participatory photo project this year called #365dayswithdisability. The idea is for people with disabilities to take photos of their everyday lives and post them using Instagram, with the #365dayswithdisability hashtag. At some point, they will all be displayed on the Two Thirds Of A Planet website.

I’m going to try to participate throughout the year. It’ll be an interesting exercise for me, because I’ve never gotten into the habit of taking photos, even despite years of owning a succession of iPhones. As for selfies … well, I feel like it’s a generational thing, and I sit right in the gap between selfie ubiquity and selfie hate. I think I understand the deeper layers of meaning selfies have for at least some of people who do them a lot, but personally, I can’t think of anything less exciting or meaningful for myself than taking photos of my own face. I’ll probably give it a try as part of this project, but I expect most of my photos will be of things I see in my everyday life. I’ll also probably stick to photos with some relation to disability … not just pictures my morning cup of tea or noontime tuna fish sandwiches.

Here is my first installment, from January 1, 2016:

Wake up view. #365dayswithdisability

A photo posted by Andrew Pulrang (@apulrang) on

This is the ventilator I use at night. The end of that hose attaches to the tracheostomy tube in my neck, and the machine breathes for me while I sleep. I don’t use it during the day, unless I’m sick or taking a nap. However, it is basically the kind of ventilator people use who use them 24/7, and crucially, the same kind of ventilator people are talking about when they speculate that they’d never want to live life “attached to a bunch of tubes.” I try not to make pronouncements about others peoples’ lives and decisions based on my own, but since I kind of love my ventilator, I’ll probably have more to say about “living on machines,” “pulling the plug,” and related matters.

My #365dayswithdisability photos will be posted on my Facebook Page, Instagram account, and here on the blog.