Through fragmented aesthetics, Veronique West’s work explores how disability and madness can be generative disruptions, which reshape understandings of self, kin, and community. Through collaboration and multimedia design, their projects incorporate various entry points, interweaving accessibility with formal experimentation.
In this interview, Veronique discusses their dual digital and live performance art piece, Szepty/Whispers, which explores intergenerational dialogue about mental health disability.
Veronique (she/they) is a non-binary settler of Polish descent, based on the occupied and unsurrendered lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. As an artist, facilitator, consultant, and administrator, their work draws from their lived experience of mental health disability and chronic physical illness. In addition to their creative practice, they engage in peer-led mental health advocacy, centering the expertise and self-determination of people with lived experience. Veronique is inspired by the teachings of many equity-seeking artists and activists, who affirm that all liberation movements are connected. Veronique strives to work in ways that support cross-movement solidarity.
In Szepty/Whispers, a performer probes their immigrant mother’s silence about mental health, seeking words for their own experiences. As they sift through traces of the past, they grapple with the afterlife of violence, the untranslatability of culture, and the politics of memory. Through a fractured accumulation of personal narrative, multimedia design, integrated captions, and embedded audio description, Szepty/Whispers searches for disability kinship across generational fault lines.