Olympics rant (again!): As I mentioned in this blog last year, funding within the UK is continuing to be sucked into a huge void labelled ‘The 2012 Olympic games’. At the time of writing the bill for this has risen to a spectacular £9.5 billion from its original estimate of £2.5 billion. It’s also likely to go even higher as we now discover that the Government may have overestimated the money (by £1 billion) it can get for land it plans to sell off after 2012.
We know that this has had a knock on effect with funding that would normally go to disability arts, for example, and that most of this spending will go towards supporting a belief structure that encourages the worship of the body perfect. Of course there’ll be the ‘Special Olympics’, but let’s not kid ourselves that this isn’t anything more than a token attempt at inclusion for the Disabled members of society (if in fact we wanted to take part in this gratuatus display of patronisation by the mainly non-disabled organisors).
I’ve created several cartoons around this theme over the past several months or so, and this idea came to me as I was looking at some old sketches I’d done of crips having to jump through the proverbial hoops in order to get anywhere. Even though I say so myself, I think the use of the Olympic hoops in this context says it all at the moment!
On the first day of operation at Heathrows new Terminal 5, Matt Duffy was stuck on a flight arriving into Heathrow from Glasgow for more than an hour. Then when he was eventually transported to the terminal, the wheelchair user was met by a kerb. ‘I couldn't even get into the building without getting up a step,’ he said. ‘It is totally unbelievable as far as I am concerned.’ The terminal was 20 years in the planning, cost £4.3 billion to build and its staff underwent six months' training before it opened. Did anyone bother to do an access audit I wonder?!
I noticed that Disabled cartoonist Eddie Freeman has posted a comment on this blog. Many of you won't know Eddie, but he's the guy who drew the very funny Blind Dogs for the Guides cartoon that appeared in the Disability Arts on Line magazine some while back. I thought that he'd retirement on the money they must have paid him, but it appears he's still around. Come on Eddie, get your finger out mate and let's see some more of your excellent work!
Have you seen the article that the Ouch site is currently running about Disability Art? It's mainly centred around the proposed Disability Archive at Holten Lee and is asking for feed-back. Here is
the link for it. Worth having a look I reckon.
Incidentally, I’ve now got six new e-books as well as a cartoon calendar up on the web site. Here is
the link for that.
The books cover everything from the Social Model to Sex (thought that would get your attention!). Let me know what you think if you decide to indulge yourselves (Wondered when he'd try to plug his new books! - Ed).
I was really saddened to hear that Sally Wells, who'd been together with Kit for some 40 odd years has died. I had the privilege of working with them both on several occasions, the most memorable when they were co-producing a film about disability cartooning for Channel 4. She was a lovely, kind and caring woman and the world is going to be a much sadder place without her. Our thoughts are with you Kit.
… And don't forget, you can comment on this, or any other Crippen cartoon in the comments section below.
If you want to see a clearer image, just click on the cartoon and it will change to a larger size. You'll also find a description of the cartoon along with the enlargement (this is provided for screen reading software).
I blundered into an on-line arts chat room the other night and got talking to some folks about the inclusion of Disabled artists into mainstream arts venues and resources.
This cartoon came from the ‘discussion’ that ensued, and pretty well sums up the attitude of the non-disabled people (artists?) who were on-line at the time. This was as far away from Social Model understanding as you could imagine by the way, and the majority only had an understanding of disability art through the charitable cards they’d bought at Christmas from the likes of Scope, or, in the case of the Yanks involved, from the many ‘handicapped’ charities they have over there!
Made me wonder though if the funders are working from this understanding of what the general public expects when dishing out the dosh to disability arts organisations. What do you think?!
Back with a new desk top computer after my old laptop crashed and burned just before Christmas, I’m hoping to get back into providing you all with regular blog entries once again. (I’m surely being punished for something I did in a former life?! – Ed)
One of the things that I’ve been doing whilst I’ve been waiting for the computer fairy to come and replace my dead laptop is drawing a lot of new cartoons. These are mainly for some new cartoon books that I hope to have available on my web site soon, and also for a couple of the books I previously had printed in hard copy. Both these new and old books will be available as PDF files and can be downloaded through the Pay Pal system.
What struck me when creating the new stuff is that not much has really changed! We still have Charities gate-keeping the funds we need; most Charities are still, on the whole, run and controlled by non-disabled people; there are still those non-disabled disability professionals out there doing their thing and making lots of money; etc. In fact, when I started to redraw some of the old cartoons from the early 90’s, they were still as relevant today as when I first created them!