Paved Trails and Shampoo Shopping


  • Aimee Louw Concordia University



Poetry is a gentle but relentless coach, a lover, personal benchmark, and record for growth. She shifts beliefs, practices, and emotions, tracking pitfalls, steps back, steps around, stillness, like a smooth laketop or slow-streaming river. In this Research-Creation piece, I develop my version of ‘Crip Poetics’ through autoethnographic methods including video poems and hybrid prose-poetry writing. Drawing on Critical Disability Studies, Indigenous Studies, and Mobility Studies, I bring questions of white supremacy and settler colonialism into conversation with accessibility in Canada. I interview Indigenous people with varying relationships to disability and disabled people of multiple settler cultures, using qualitative methods including Hangout as Method (Warren Cariou) and Wheeling Interviews (Laurence Parent). Engaging with interview transcripts as text, to continue conversation and exchange with interviewees, this study offers reflections on interviewing as a method. Reflecting on the limits of participant-action research and representation, I interrogate the role of researchers in marginalized knowledge production, engaging with the limits and possibilities of ‘unsettling research’. I aim to redirect eugenic trends in disability discourse and history towards prioritizing the telling of our own stories. It's my hope that these conversations and the intersections of these struggles are brought to the fore—this selection being one avenue among many to further this work. Dance with me between words and beyond political affiliation.

Author Biography

Aimee Louw, Concordia University

Aimee Louw is a writer, journalist and facilitator living in Tiohtiá:ke (Montreal) whose work incorporates disability justice politics with imagining flourishing futures. She holds a Master's of Arts from Concordia University in Media Studies where she was awarded a SSHRC grant to study what a less colonial access politic would be like. This research is now published in her debut poetry book, Less Sweet than Chocolate or Concrete. Passionate about bringing more disability stories and content to the forefront, Aimee developed trainings and resources on accessible journalism during her 2020 Fellowship on Disability and Inclusion at The Walrus. This is also why she founded and directs the Unruly Writers Club, a writing group, which offers protected time and workshops for disabled queer writers to work on their craft. She also showcases this talent pool by curating disability themed readings such as for the Growing Room feminist literature festival. Aimee, herself, has written and produced award winning films and radio for CBC Radio, The Walrus, Canadaland, and the Leeds Queer Film Festival. She invites connections on and on social media @aimeeiswriting.



How to Cite

Louw, A. (2021). Paved Trails and Shampoo Shopping. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 10(2), 186–203.