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Citizen of the World: Mark Willis muses over a cup of coffee in Galerie Vivienne in Paris.Mark Willis is a writer, producer, and web developer. He has 40 years of experience in journalism, organizational communication, public advocacy, and web operations. He offers editorial and consulting services through Willis Creative New Media. Please contact him with ideas, creative projects, and inquiries about speaking and consulting.

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A Passionate Public Speaker Re-Imagines Accessibility & Culture

Mark Willis has given talks, seminars, and spoken-word performances at the National Human Genome Research Center, M.I.T. Media Lab, Gallaudet University, the Modern Language Association, Ohio State University Law School, and the Wexner Center for the Arts.

Shepard Fairey’s “Barack Obama/Hope” image went viral during the 2008 election. Then controversy about the image’s source transformed it into the poster child for fair use in the public debate over copyright and free culture. Now FULAB takes “Hope” as its icon  [Image source: Wikipedia]Shape-Shifters in the Fair Use Lab
Shepard Fairey’s Hope poster was a ubiquitous image during the 2008 Presidential election. It evolved from street art to civic treasure when it was added to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Then controversy about the image’s source transformed it into the poster child for fair use in the public debate over copyright and free culture. What does Shepard Fairey’s Hope poster have to do with accessibility? Read more. [A talk presented at MiT6 April 2009]

Paul Strand. Blind. 1916. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.Curiosity & The Blind Photographer
In the moment when Paul Strand photographed her surreptitiously on the street in New York, the social engineers who created a system for licensing beggars never imagined that a blind woman had culture or could make culture. She herself may not have imagined it. Paul Strand probably didn’t give her much credit for making culture, either. [A talk presented at MiT5 April 2007] See more on blind photographers.

Book cover of Paulo Freire’s "pedagogy_of_the_oppressed"Disability As Praxis
I am a parent, homeowner, knowledge worker, and person with disabilities. Oppression is not my true word, but praxis is. In Paulo Freire’s transformative work, I find an affirmation deeper than ideology or political activism — an affirmation of the dynamic role of disability in culture. I believe the daily praxis of making adaptations and negotiating accommodations represents a significant form of cultural production. [1995, revised 2009]

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