For more than a decade, Sophie de Oliveira Barata has been at the helm of The Alternative Limb Project, a Lewes-based studio that makes custom prosthetics for people with amputated or missing appendages. The designs range from uncannily realistic to fantastic, fairytale-like creations that fall at the intersection of art and medicine, a unique meeting point she discusses in a new interview with Colossal.
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Some people have an idea that it will just be exactly the same all the time, and your body is a living organism, which is impossible to replicate. In some ways, it’s easier to go for an alternative because you haven’t got to match something that’s just changing all the time.
In this conversation, de Oliveira Barata speaks about the young girl who helped inspire the project, how cultural conceptions of physical disability have evolved, and the imaginative, empowering possibilities of alternative limbs.
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