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16 October 2012

DAO blogs

For a disabled artists' view of disability and deaf arts culture

artwork for Katherine Araniello's Sick Bitch Crips

Katherine Araniello's Sick Bitch Crip's features in DAOs blog section

This section of DAO provides disabled artists and writers with a space to give our readers an inside view of their art practice, share thoughts and receive comments and feedback.

These blogs provide an informative and entertaining insight into how disability and impairment are experienced from a disability perspective.

The opinions expressed in these pages are not necessarily those of DAO.

Speak Up Sooty - That's Representation

2 October 2015

Blog Richard Downes

Posted this on my work facebook page the other day: "I'm really looking forward to having some little monkeys visit at the end of next month. But something has got my goat today and its a pig of an advert in the Times for Debra in support of Butterfly Children, kids 'living with Epidermolysis Bullosa - a painful genetic skin blistering condition which makes... skin as fragile as a butterfly's wing. To find out more about butterfly children.....' Should be used to it by...

Mental Health Week's theme is Dignity, I am still looking for it.

2 October 2015

Blog Dolly Sen

Mock up of pharmaceutical drug, reading 'Dignity cannot be taken 4 times a day.'

Next week is Mental Health Week and this year's theme is dignity. This is my take on it: Dignity cannot be taken 4 times a day Being labelled, pathologised and medicated, I cannot claim my mind for myself I cannot claim my life for myself So how can I even have dignity? Medicine does not heal But seals the scream Is that dignity? Dignity are never in the side effects. Weight gain – my arse is getting bigger than my dreams. Too tired to reach for the day, let alone the sun. Try having...

Should we replace the ā€˜dā€™ word? Hell, no!

1 October 2015

Blog Trish Wheatley

A photograph featuring several popular toy brands modified to look like they have various impairments

I’m fired up to write a blog about something that we grapple with all the time working in the disability arts sector. Yes, the ‘d’ word. I’ve just read a BBC Ouch blog entitled 'Is it time to stop using the word "disability"?' by Rebecca Atkinson, who headed up the Toy Like Me campaign to persuade toy manufacturers to include disabled characters. In my opinion, we absolutely don't need a new word for disability/disabled. The word isn’t the...

Disabled is the new able

30 September 2015

Blog Richard Butchins

An image of the torso of a man sporting a variety of labels such as 'average', 'awkward',  'dribbler', 'overcome'. He wears a stethoscope attached to his chest

I was at the Edinburgh festival this year. I sat on a panel entitled ‘Disability a creative advantage’ which was a fun bit of rhetorical cant.  But, the thing that struck me most was the presence of disability; it was everywhere, it’s like a new ‘art’ fashion.   Will there be lines of clothing?  Will, “Top Shop cripples,” “Mongs’ at Muji” and “Spazridges” be all the rage? Wheelchairs shall replace Penny...

Creative Future host readings from their anthology of impossible things

29 September 2015

Blog Colin Hambrook

photo of performer/ writer Jackie Hagan sitting in a bathroom

Last night the Free Word Centre in Holborn played host to writers from the Creative Future Literary Award ceremony reading poetry and prose pieces on the theme of ‘impossible things’. With support from Lemn Sissay and Maggie Gee and prizes of cash and mentoring from the Literary Consultancy the room buzzed with interpretations of the idea of ‘impossibility’: everything from Catherine Edmunds inanimate furniture to Peter Jordan’s ever-expanding warrior. I was struck...

The Existential Circus

29 September 2015

Blog Dolly Sen

Existential Circus

Although I am part of Mad Pride in response to the shaming by the sanatised, I do sometimes feel that madness is a terrible impersonator of the self. I think there is something to the fact that sometimes the self needs to be played badly, an existential tribute act, in order to maintain dignity. One problem is being ridiculed for not surrendering the dignity.  One tragedy is that the self and its inadequate impersonation are both unpleasant acts on a mediocre bill. I am not talking about...

Some questions for my readers

28 September 2015

Blog Dolly Sen

Hello readers, hope you are all doing ok. Next year I am going to be moving out of London to somewhere quieter. I have decided not to work in the mental health system any more, and am toying with the idea of making my art a private pursuit rather than a public one. I haven't had much luck with getting grants for my art, it is all self-funded and shared openly, but I do need pay the bills, etc. So I want to know what do you get out of my art or blog to see if it is a thing I should keep...

Edinburgh: Lost Voice Guy

23 September 2015

Blog Alice Holland

Lost Voice Guy and a plush puppet man pose on a fake cover of a book 'Disability for Dunces' to advertise his Edinburgh show

I tried stand-up once and it was horrible. Being used to the open-armed cabaret audience I was surprised to find that comedy punters were a lot more ‘Go on then, do your jokes’ than ‘Yay! Jokes!’ Not exactly how a life-long jazz fiend had imagined her first gig at Ronnie Scotts, but I limped through with a basket of fruit on my head and had a nice time getting pissed with the acts who were off of the telly afterwards. My respect for a comic who can nail it went up...

Gains and Losses

22 September 2015

Blog Esther Fox

a digital image of chromosomes inlaid over a woven structure with the words

Loss. Loss of function, loss of independence, loss of control and perhaps loss of life is often associated with disability. Over the last week or so this was brought sharply into focus in relation to the proposed Assisted Dying Bill.  I have the genetic muscle wasting condition, Spinal Muscular Atrophy that would put me into the bracket of perhaps not having more than six months to live.  Indeed my parents were told that, at age two, my life expectancy was limited. I have always been...

Victoria Wright gives a resounding thumbs up to TV's Coronation Street for casting disabled actor Liam Bairstow

21 September 2015

Blog Film and TV Reviews

portrait photo of actor Liam Bairstow

It is an unwritten rule in soapland that you can have as many gangsters, thugs, serial killers and baby snatchers as you like but only one disabled character at a time, otherwise it might look a tad creepy and unrealistic.  Actually, I say ‘unwritten’ but it wouldn't surprise me it this was written down on a big yellow post-it note in every soap producer’s office, along with the words ‘Diversity refresh due circa 2018!’  This might sound a bit cynical...

Fix Up, Look Sharp.

21 September 2015

Blog Alice Holland

Olivia Newton-John as Good Sandy and Bad Sandy from Grease- comparative portraits of her character in goody-goody cheerleader mode, and in back-combed smoking, snarling, leather jacket mode.

Of all the many exciting things I’m being allowed to put my clammy little paws on during this training, one of the most thrilling has to be Viewfinder. I was seconds from stepping on stage to ringmistress for a circus when I found out we’d secured the funding (thank you Arts Council!) so the audience got QUITE the performance out of me that night! Trish, Colin and all the project partners and I have been rustling up the goods to get Dao’s most ambitious project on the road,...

What Comfort Zone?

18 September 2015

Blog Dolly Sen

Comfort Zone

I created this collage recently in response to the idea of comfort zones.  Part of mental health recovery rhetoric is being told by some psychiatric professionals we need to step out of our comfort zones. What comfort zones? Comfort zones are a middle class idea for people who haven't been brutualised, abused, humiliated, or deeply hurt in life. I have no comfort zones. My hell might have cushions but it is still hell. I have a memory foam mattress on top of my bed of nails. My dreams...