An essay inspired by and written for the British Achievebility E-Journal 2023/24

The Phenomenology of Neurodivergence Across Generations

This essay combines the personal, political, historical and socio-cultural impacts of growing up neurodivergent in an immigrant household.

Photography by Kazimir Bielecki — Copyright 2023 DYSPLA

Part 1: Hermeneutic — from the Greek word, Ερμηνευτική (Ermineftikí) which means definition or interpretation.

Neurodivergence is passed down. This traditionally unwanted gift was passed down through all my Cypriot four fathers and mothers before reaching me. Rife on both sides of my paternal grandparents born to colonised British Cyprus, (1878–1960) and their grandparents, born to another oppressor — The Ottoman Empire, (1571 -1878).

For over 150 years my ancestors were born Φτωχός (ftochos/poor). They were the forgotten παιδιά (paidiá/children) of Empires. Equally hungry from poverty plentiful at the turn of each century. Their destinies were mapped out like the destinies of all the young peasants in their village. Marriage and poverty awaited with eager guarantee and without the prospect of social mobility intervening.

Their gift, collectivlily acknowledged as illiteracy was…

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Lennie Varvarides
The Museum of the Neurodivergent Aesthetic — MONDA

London-based dyslexic creative working in development. Founder of DYSPLA, founding editor @ The Museum of the Neurodivergent-Aesthetic.