Meet Simon. Simon works as an Identity Developer at People Like Us. He has come up with the names and stories behind our different beers, including our most recent one; Emperor’s Blue Clothes. This is Simon’s reflections upon the work process surrounding Emperor’s Blue Clothes and working at People Like Us in its entirety.
“’But he hasn’t got anything on’, a little child said.”
At People Like Us, we’ve been rereading the 181 years old fairytale by the national poet of Denmark, Hans Christian Andersen. Just like the odd child in the crowd, we too find it important to speak out when the actions of the masses don’t make sense. Hopefully you’ll enjoy our inebriating take on the old tale, which is, by the way, just as unfiltered as the non-compliant child.
Every aspect of the creation of the beer and the campaign surrounding it has involved Autistic people in some way. While many other projects catering to Autistics tend to focus exclusively on our logical abilities, People Like Us puts an emphasis on Autistic creativity. While often overlooked or undervalued, it possesses a highly considerable potential, and it is too important to be thrown away.
Sadly, that happens way too often.
Autistics are perceived as “lacking” the filter preventing us from calling the emperor’s bluff, and focus is put on installing that divine filter that we, according to dominant discourse, desperately need.
We are using creative development as a road for Autistic people to enter the labour market. While viewed as symptoms elsewhere, we see the potential of the special interests central to the Autistic neurotype.
We are boosting the skills of our Autistic employees while also trying to broaden what is considered skills in a capitalist society.
A creative platform also helps Autistics break free of the narrow and arbitrary roles and norms we are often subjected to. It gives an opportunity to perform Autistic traits in a positive and productive way.
It is a platform to challenge the perception of Autistics as disordered.
It is a platform for us to #unfiltertheworld.
One reason to reread “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, “The Ugly Duckling” et cetera, is the many clues hinting at a naked truth of Hans Christian Andersen being of Autistic feathers himself.
The fairytales created an enchanted forest, an escape when the “real” world didn’t and doesn’t make sense. They were a platform for Andersen to speak out against the meaninglessness long before the concept of autism was first introduced.
“But he hasn’t got anything on!”, the whole town cried out at last.
While that particular emperor is buried somewhere we don’t know, his naked legacy still exists today. Maybe he was brought down. But many emperors still remain. While they try to dress themselves with pathos, pseudoscience and blue lights while walking through town, it is still transparent to us.
The general ignorance is puzzling, but it is important not to focus on this one.
My goal with my work is to reclaim being Autistic. To revolutionise through beer and creativity. To create a world where Autistics too can live happily ever after.