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14 March 2011

Edited by Colin Hambrook

On Tuesday 15th March, 11.30am, Radio 4 broadcasts a programme presented by Performance artist Aaron Williamson, featuring the Disabled Avant Garde, 15mm Films and interviews with numerous shakers and malcontents from the world of disability art and politics.

Can art and irony achieve what mainstream politics never has and give the disability movement its own revolution? Disability has never had its revolutionary moment: no Suffrage, Stonewall or Watts Riots. Rather it's been perceived as the poor relation of civil rights, last on the agitation pecking order.

Aaron Williamson asks whether performing arts practice can do what political agitation never has - radicalize, even revolutionise, mainstream public perceptions of disability.

Williamson's collective, the (probably ironically named) 'Disabled Avant-Garde' has performed cabaret, stand-up, played live, staged political pranks, and even made short films depicting a world in which a violent, insurrectionary gang of 'disability terrorists' has brought the government to its knees à la Baader Meinhof/ Angry Brigade - a sort of missing film about an absent revolution.

The blurb says that 'this feature will look at their work in contrast to mainstream public thinking on disability (eg.the Equality and Human Rights Commission) and ask whether the radical possibilities opened up by disability politics have been co-opted by endless subsidy and 'minority' box ticking.'

For those that have ears!

The feature is available on the BBC website until 22 March 2011