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Penny Pepper has been a writer and activist within the disability arts movement for 20 years. She has written articles for dao, Arts Disability Culture Magazine, Disability Now and Ouch! She has also written short stories for DAO and is the author of Desires (2003), a controversially unique collection of explicit fiction focusing on disabled people, relationships and sex.

Penny Pepper's DadaFest Part One: Fun, Frantic, Provocative

10 December 2010

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I'm pulling my guilty face as I write this because I didn't manage to blog while I was working at DadaFest, and I really wanted to share this amazing experience. I've read the blog by Tanya, the reviews, and comments by Colin and echo the sentiments. This felt historic and it was a huge privileged to be there. Yet what a whirlwind, what an awesome frenzy. I loved every minute, even the exhausting ones. My participation in DadaFest happened despite the odds. Earlier in the year my...

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New Year, New Hopes, Old Battles

2 January 2011

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woman wearing a purple jumper lying ona bed

I doubt any of my pals are surprised I didn't manage to post a DadaFest write-up part two. Distraction, distraction... That's my problem. Sometimes I fire so many simultaneous thoughts that they lead me around in exhausting circles, and leave me in a woeful state bemoaning that I haven’t completed any project. I hope this will change this New Year. If you are ever on the end of my distraction issue – apologies. OK, I have had a weight of annoying health issues too, but the...

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Penny on protests... then and now!

23 January 2011

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Penny and Gabriel, Liz Crow in background at  protest a few years ago

It’s Sunday, late evening as I write this. I’m preparing myself for the protest in London tomorrow, as we take to the streets to show our anger at the savage cuts about to hack us hard. Cuts that slice our human rights to bloody ribbons too. I haven’t been on an action for some time. From a personal perspective they have always made me nervous and even insecure, as though I was not really up to it, not made of hard protestor fibre. I’m fragile, I break mentally and...

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New York, Old London, Same Battles

4 August 2011

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I did it. Amazed myself and survived to tell the tale, crammed with feverish stories and kaleidoscope  memories. All roasted and shaken in the rich, brash, varied flavours of New York. I say roasted with meaning because it was hot. Blistering and humid, and when up the Empire State Building, I could see the thick smog arc hanging over and into the city. One day hit 39c - I don't believe I have known it that hot before in my whole life. Thank the gods for air con. Yet nothing could ruin...

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Taking A Liberty

19 September 2013

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photo of writer penny pepper smiling at the camera

I sit in a cramped room in Camden.  I am a shy, nervous creature, newly in London. Listening to this bunch of disabled people speak, my thoughts flood with hope and awe. They speak of our arts and culture, and call for revolution. This was a meeting in the Artsline office, Crowndale Road, circa 1985. I am not sure any of us realised we were pioneers, but I believe history shows we were in our own ramshackle way. And now, against memories of those beginnings, I come to Liberty in the...

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