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Richard Downes - disability arts online
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I once wrote for life now I write in life. I'm looking forward to developing a blog presence with personality for DAO whilst delivering comment, reviews, photos and views on disability and how it's represented.

More Yoko No 2 - Yoko v We All Shot Pudsey Bear

25 June 2012

Blog

Yoko Ono, Planting Acorns, Bagism, Bed Ins, We All Shot Pudsey Bear, We Are Spartacus, DPAC, direct action

Walking down Oxford Street en route to the Serpentine it struck me that two things I respect may be incompatible.   Yoko's great campaign is for peace. She loves you. Single equality issues such as racism, feminism, ageism can be mollified through observance of the greater cause. Her tactic's have included planting acorns, bagism (against prejudice and stereotyping) bed in's for peace (protesting war, promoting peace). Her work is best seen as an opportunity to be included, involved. She...

Comments: 0

The Revolution Starts Here - Just As It Started There Before

18 July 2012

Blog

Can I get something off my chest please. I just don't like the sub heading being used by the Southbank to push Unlimited. I don't like it so much my mind refuses to capture it but I think its; "The Revelation Starts Here...". I don't like it because it sounds a little bit holy moly for my taste. Its biblical man. Anybody else here remember the campaigns against Maurice Cerrulo and the like. Healers. Pah!!! It strikes me as being almost anti disabled people. And this is so...

Comments: 1

Disability Arts Qualification Anyone?

2 January 2013

Blog

There is an idea that disability arts is being swallowed up and not being given the opportunity to prosper as disabled artists move towards inclusion in the main stream. One possible solution to this would be to develop a disability arts qualification (which of itself rings of mainstreaming). But i beleive it is an idea that is worthy of consideration especially as Dolly Sen puts disability arts and disability theory onto the agenda whilst discussing the importance of DAO. A problem with...

Comments: 2

Mike Gripe

25 January 2013

Blog

Don'cha just hate it when you go to one of these disability arts panels or disabled activists meetings and they just won't use the mike or the megaphone. You'd think they have something to say but don't want to be heard. Went to such an event yesterday. Tiny room, packed with bodies that increasingly shuffled and shifted as they couldn't hear nor barely see due to overcrowding and it took four speakers before one of them had the grace to use the mike. I know.... I should have spoken up. Given...

Comments: 1

She Never Looked Sicker

20 December 2013

Blog

I've just caught up with Katherine Arianiello's latest blog on DAO, Wot a laff, It surely can't be the first time a committed disability artist has played with identity by assuming the role of a normal person with the disadvantages that brings, Indeed, how many of us have done this on a daily basis - myself included. Mainstreaming. Being the supercrip. Letting normal society put on us with their interminable list of aches and pains and other uninspired melodramas, Oh! the boredom of...

Comments: 1

Blah Blah Blah

18 June 2014

Blog

a man appears out of the words blah blah blah which are written lots of times in different black and white shadings. I love the smile on the man's face.

This blog first appeared today on Merton Centre for Independent Living's Inclusion Blog where I explore issues around engagement and reveal what our members are saying and getting involved in. It can be found here:  But it felt too good and arty to just stay there so her it is. We do this. We do that. We sell the brand. The blind man sat and got pounced on by the organisational evangelists with their we do this, we do that, we sell the brand mantras. We sing. We jump. We swim. The...

Comments: 0

News from a Die-In for the dying

4 December 2015

Blog

Blast! Just when I committed to life Parliament decides to take a vote on air strikes. Blast! Just when I’m gettting on with living I’ve got to go off to a die in. Blast! Parliament  Square. December 2nd. A pathetic tranche of resistors move to a penned-off part of the road, at no one’s inconvenience, to lie down, act dead and yet somehow find the breath to chant ‘Don’t Bomb Syria’. I’ve got my legs bent and pointing towards Bean...

Comments: 5

Impairment Haiku

9 May 2016

Blog

Chest cooed like a dove A Cardio-vascular Expression of love Walking up a hill, feeling weary, I thought my chest had started up again. But no it was a dove. Or a pigeon. Probably a pigeon actually given their current predominence but I thought it was a dove. So, the words were basically there; a given. I wrote it down on an envelop somewhere. It was on the table. Then it wasn't on the table. Now its not on the table. Probably in a cupboard somewhere. The cupboard is still there. So is the...

Comments: 0

What could the Southbank's 'Festival Of the World' be to me and you and us and them?

6 June 2012

Blog

photo of an installation as part of Southbank Centre's Festival of the World. The installation consists of a series of extra large alphabet cubes.

I am here. You are there. Different, diverse, separate, apart. Can I share your world? Can you get into mine? I cannot speak for you. Except for those things we share. I cannot tell you what unless, in making this approach, I give you clues about what things I have myself. Clues. Games. Treasure Hunts. Learning. Sometimes in leaving my world I find other worlds I think I could make my world if I would give it a try. Snowdon. I look at the mountain range through a camera lens. I see it change...

Comments: 4