'Coupled for Life and Death'. Siamese Twins and Figures of Cultural, Social, and Political Rhetoric
The biography of Daisy and Violet Hilton, the Siamese sisters who appeared on stages internationally in the former half of 20th century, enables one to get an insight into the processes of cultural redefinition of unusual cases (once described as monstrous). The twins played their life out within a system of mutually coupled mechanisms of pathologisation of distinctness, stigmatisation and marginalisation of individuals diverging from the standard. They incessantly worked on negotiating their identity - they tried to be stage artists rather than a human rarity or an example of pathology. Tracing the sisters' vicissitudes, we can see how the bodily condition is entangled in a network of cultural narrations and practices, not mutually agreeing with one another but being enormously powerful in shaping the human lot.
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