My Shape is an audio visual performance piece presenting the poetry of the late, great Barbara Stewart (1956-2016). Barbara’s poetry draws on her lived experience as a proud disabled person. Articulating her very personal experiences of, the medical profession, everyday discrimination, difference and empowerment, Barbara’s work is at the same time shockingly honest, funny and positive. Barbara worked as a welfare benefits advisor and supported thousands of disabled people to access the support they needed. As a poet she often would speak and read her poetry at community events to which she received a great response from people. My Shape is a poetry book Barbara finished shortly before she died and available as a PDF ebook here – My-Shape-Book-single-pages.
Bodeelanwigch explores the representation of dyslexia and related learning difficulties that challenge language and literacy norms. Presented as an audio visual poem, the original text written by the disability activist and artist Simon Brisenden (published in ‘Poems for Perfect People’ in 1987) this piece reconsiders the themes in relation to notions of dyslexia and associated learning difficulties. Drawing on personal experience, Bodeelanwigch alludes to Craig Collinson’s (2012) concept of ‘lexism’, which relocates the problem of dyslexia as not individually owned, but rather the consequence of expressing diverse reading, writing, speaking and hearing in relation to ‘literacy norms’. Continue reading “Bodeelanwigch”→
This animated clip was inspired by a family collection of censored postcards from World War I sent from the trenches by my Great Great Uncle John Edward Kirby, also known as Jack to his brother, between 1915 to 1918. Drawing on the words Jack wrote whilst in the trenches, this clip presents a summary version of the postcards. The full collection of the postcards is available here. Previously shown at the Together, disability film festival 2014 see here.
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner, Published by Hot Key Books 2012
‘There are train-track thinkers and then there’s you… a breeze in the park of imagination’
Maggot Moon is a great read with a lovely visual storyline. It’s both imaginative and inspirational, and gives space for the reader to really absorb what’s going on and add in extra detail as and when you see fitting to do.
Despite the oppressively dark and sinister backdrop, the central character ‘Standish’ beams a very bright light from every page. It is a tale of proud resistance set in a fascist state where, in the end, the power of what’s right rings true.
Audio visual summary of Chris Edwards report ‘The Austerity War and the impoverishment of disabled people’. This finds the burden of the cuts to public services is being unfairly shouldered by some of the poorest people in society. Commissioned by Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People (NCODP) the report says the poorest 20% of the 2.7 million households receiving disability benefits will lose 16% of their cash income, plus benefits-in-kind, during the four years up to 2015. Words by Chris Edwards, Visuals by Stephen Lee Hodgkins – Nov 2012. Created with a 1950s shopkeepers ticket printing kit and an Ipad. Shown at the Shape Open 2012 Exhibition see here.