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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.

Who draws the line on what is or isn’t a useful life?

14 January 2016

Blog

A photograph of Liz Carr as Clarissa Mullery in the BBC's Silent Witness. The image is a close up on her face with a crime scene in the background.

The journalist Matthew Parris has a bit of a thing about ‘usefulness’ as an important human trait. When interviewed by disability activist and wheelchair user Baroness Jane Campbell on BBC Radio 4’s first Today programme of 2016, he branded her as “a clearly useful person” because of her place in the House of Lords. Parris makes his politics clear. His recent article in the Spectator was headed: ‘Some day soon we’ll all accept that useless lives...

Comments: 4

Katherine Araniello and Simon Raven do 'The Golden Gherkin'

29 July 2015

Blog

photo of artists Katherine Araniello and Simon Raven dressed in black costumes with a stall of 'golden pickles'  pictured in front of the Damien Hirst 'Charity' sculpture near the Gherkin

Unveiled in the same week that the UK government scrapped the Independent Living Fund (ILF), a debate about the artistic merit of Damien Hirst’s 'Charity' (2003 - 2004) ignited on Dao’s FB group.  A 22-foot painted bronze likeness of a Spastics Society (Scope) charity collection box from the 1960's-1970’s depicting a sad disabled child, the press lauded it as a statement about disability rights and exclusion. Why? Because in Hirst’s depiction, the giant...

Comments: 2

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 Hambrook on the 10,000 Cuts and Counting, memorial service and protest

29 September 2013

Blog

The spread of Atos' tentacles. Cartoon by Crippen

I was asked by Occupy London to find disabled performers to take part in the memorial service and protest against ATOS and the Work Capability Assessment which took place on Saturday 28 September in Parliament Square. And so my thanks go to Sophie Partridge, Penny Pepper, John Kelly and Dickie Lupton who took to the stage to join their voices with those of many other disabled activists, MPs, GPs, the War On Welfare (WOW) petition and the Dean of St Paul's, the Reverend David Ison, who was...

Comments: 3

Colin Hambrook asks where do we find Disability Arts and activism?

15 April 2013

Blog

colour image of shocking pink grab rails spelling out the word 'People' on a black background

The Disability, Arts & Diversity Symposium: 'From the Personal to the Universal' at Salisbury Arts Centre last week, promised to be "an in depth look at Disability Arts and activism from the viewpoints of artists, producers, presenters and policy makers." There are myriad implications for Disability Arts and its activist role in the wider social context, but to my mind the Symposium itself did little to address the issues. I wonder if somewhere along the way, the glory of...

Comments: 3