As disability becomes increasingly visible—through, for example, heightened coverage of events such as the Paralympic Games—what impact has such visibility had upon the everyday lives of people with disabilities? Have there been widespread societal shifts with respect to attitudes toward, and understanding of, disability? Has a hyper-visibility of disability changed the meanings we ascribe to disabled bodies and bought about meaningful social change?
Bringing together a diverse collection of artwork from disabled and non-disabled artists, this exhibition grapples with these challenging questions. It moves us to think about progressive social change, the distance travelled, and evokes questions about continued marginalisation and struggle, empowerment and dis-empowerment, ability and dis-ability. Through a focus on bodily difference, shifting and affective understandings of disability, and wider issues of social justice, the exhibition challenges us to imagine possible futures.
All pieces in the exhibition reinterpret the voices of the general public from data gathered as part of the Arts & Humanities council research project (AH/P003842/1 Re-presenting para-sport bodies: Disability & the cultural legacy of the Paralympics) and focus on public understandings of disability in the context of the everyday.