It’s with a heavy heart I bring you this news:
A few weeks ago Patrice’s brother, Jean-Philippe, reached out to me to let me know Patrice had passed before Christmas. He had a heart attack while out playing soccer with friends. Unfortunately his passing came only weeks before his first child was born.
The internet is a strange, yet wonderful world. Why? Because it has allowed the disability community - a community not bound by geography - to find one another for the first time. The internet has brought many powerful advocates into my life. People who I have never met, but who I spent many hours sharing time & swapping stories on experience. Even from halfway across the world, (Patrice lived in France) Patrice was one of these people in my life.
A few years ago I started to follow an artist named Patrice Meaume online. He beautifully illustrated persons with disability living completely normal, happy lives. His goal was for us to “claim back the bodies we have.” In a world where the common disability narrative is either "pity" or "heroism," Patrice brought us work that actually reflected the happy, active disability experience. His work was helping shift an entire narrative. He showed this narrative by creating art like: A woman with one hand jamming out to music, a cheerleader jumping with pom poms on her prosthetic leg, a man in a wheelchair flexing his muscles.
Over the years I watched him grow his art into an online catalog of empowering clothing & swag. The growth in his work really started to gain attention and large disability based companies became familiar with his name. My friend Sarah and I commissioned his work for our podcast, Disarming Disability. He is the artist behind our amazing logo. Also notably, National Disability Theater just collaborated with him to create pieces of their branding.
Companies/people saw the strength and value of his amazing talent - and we were using it!
Patrice beautifully shared his work with the entire world and his loss is such a great one.
Be assured, his brother and I have been communicating over the past few weeks. His family is committed to continuing his work through his site normal-persons.com. They are unbelievably proud of their brother/son. And they should be.
There are two things you can do right now to honor Patrice’s legacy: First, please take a moment to go share a comment on Patrice’s instagram page. I have shared with his family the impact Patrice had on our community - but it would mean a great deal more to hear it directly from you! Secondly, jump on over to his site www.normal-persons.com and purchase some of his product! We can still proudly wear his work!
Let’s show Patrice’s family just what a big impact he had in the disability community!
Thank you, Patrice, for the art you gave to us! You are missed.