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Colin Hambrook established Disability Arts Online in 2004. Since then he has been editing and maintaining the journal and its social media outlets. In his blog he comments on aspects of stuff going in within Disability Arts and the specific arts programmes Dao is engaged with.. as well being known to vent the occasional rant.

There aint ‘alf been some awkward bastards

16 March 2015

Blog

the word 'anarkissed' written in a scrawling, heavy black and white hand across a white gallery wall

Having entered a decade akin to the Victorian age with an increasing rise in importance placed on benevolence and charity we have to ask ourselves is there a place, now, for Art Movements that seek to address social justice and inequity within society? Or do we rather want to throw in the towel; see it all as worthy nonsense and let the White Men in their ivory towers carry on business as usual putting the mundane and populist at the top of the charts. Has Disability Arts or Black Arts or...

Comments: 1

To define or not to define: the dirty 'disability' word

27 October 2014

Blog

photo of three images of the artist throwing an artificial leg at a pyramid of collecting cans

A stimulating discussion unfolded on Dao’s FB group last week in response to the Shape Open Exhibition, which was launched at Shape’s Gallery in Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford last week. The call-out for Shape’s annual Open Exhibition was for the third year opened out to disabled and to non-disabled artists specifically asking for work on the theme of [in]visible. The question posed was whether Shape should be supporting work by artists who didn’t necessarily see...

Comments: 7

Colin kicks off 2014 with a look at one of Dao's most accessed pieces of in-depth content

7 January 2014

Blog

normality training cartoon

Happy New Year to one and all. As a theme running through DAO's tenth year I want to draw attention to features in our back catalogue for those who may not be aware of the depth and breadth of the content in the journal.  Many of you will be aware of the value and importance of the Social Model of Disability to the history and development of Disability Arts, but may be confused or sceptical about the Affirmative Model of Disability which attempts to bring the theory into a 21st century...

Comments: 0

Colin Hambrook posts the debate from FaceBook group on disability art and Identity

5 December 2012

Blog

ink drawing of several figures in a strange landscape

Last week DAOs FaceBook group was the site of a raging debate about disability, art and identity. Between 19-27 November members of the group posted something in the region of 15,000 words in 122 posts. Responses were passionate. It was a valuable debate testing the validity, or otherwise of Disability Art, a Disability Arts Movement and of definitions of being a 'disabled artist'. Many of the contributions question the social model ethic of 'self-definition' and the validity...

Comments: 97

Colin discusses BBC Vision's program for 'Able' disabled people

22 January 2012

Blog

black and white picture of a microphone

In a blog on Parallel Lines recently, Aaron Williamson made the point that “the notion that an individual is disabled by their impairment is still the prevalent mainstream way of thinking.” One of the ways it manifests is in the often tokenistic way that organisations attempt to make concessions towards disabled people. Looking at the BBC Vision’s current training opportunity to find disabled presenters -‘PresentAble’ - leaves me with that certain feeling I get in...

Comments: 0

Colin Hambrook reflects on the second Artists Debating Identity event at Shape

16 October 2009

Blog

On Thursday 15 October Shape held their second informal conversation, led by Michèle Taylor - this time targeted at performing artists. Recognising the current lack of a platform for disabled and Deaf performers to come together to share ideas and talk about prevalent issues, Shape has created an ongoing event where 20 or so disabled and Deaf people can come together to talk openly and honestly. Michèle set the tone by opening the debate with a showing of Liz Crows’ film...

Comments: 6

Artists Debating Identity

21 June 2009

Blog

photo of artist

In the 1990s LDAF used to organise debates, which, truth to tell, became circular arguments centering around the question of what is Disability Arts? We somehow never seemed to get beyond celebrating difference and protesting righteous indignation that nothing should be made about us without us. With disabled people at the helm the world was going to be a better place. Dissing the Social Model was tantamount to letting the side down and any critical debate was stifled by polemic disguised as...

Comments: 9