When I Walk


Jason DaSilva
2013 | 85 minutes | U.S., India
Director in Attendance

Seven years and 3,600 hours of footage after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Jason DaSilva brings an intimate portrait of his own physical transformation to the big screen with When I Walk. In a culture where disability is often reduced to a character trait—he is disabled, she is disabled—When I Walk asks about disability as a process. When do you become disabled in your path from able-bodied? What are the pivotal moments indicating your life will never be as it once was? DaSilva’s story elegantly unfolds with the camera as his witness on his journey toward activism. Harrowing and optimistic, his chronicle reminds us of the beauty of fleeting moments, the importance of humor, and the presence of possibility.

Copresented by New York University’s Council for the Study of Disability

What compelled you to see for yourself?
When I Walk is my personal journey, filming myself transforming from able-bodied to disabled over seven years. Obviously, the main reason why I started this project was to document my progression. When I first started this journey, I found there to be a deficit in films that explored the social model of disability. Most often, media around disability is created under the guise of the more traditional medical model. As an artist and media practitioner, I felt it important to honestly portray my thoughts and emotions, and not only the physical transformation.
—Jason DaSilva | Director, When I Walk