Multiple Modalities: Disability in film, TV, radio & on social media

In this post you’ll find details of upcoming events that I’m involved in which take up disability, representation, power and humanness across various modalities. These core themes are spread throughout my research and teaching, but with the Paralympics starting in Rio, it seems a good time to think critically about representations of disability and how they relate to the everyday lives of disabled people.

1. Disability on Screen, Tuesday, 8 November 2016 from 18:00 to 19:30 (GMT), University of Sheffield

The first of these events is Disability on Screen, an event funded as part of the Economic and Social Science’s Festival of Social Science. When disabled people have featured on the big and small screen in recent years in popular programmes like The Last Leg and The Undateables, and in films such as The Theory of Everything and Me before You, are such representations accurate, fair and just, and to what extent do they alleviate or exacerbate disabled people’s experiences of disablism?

Disability on Screen

Disability on Screen

Come and join in the discussion with an exciting panel of speakers including:

Adam Pearson, Actor and Television Production: Adam is an actor and starred alongside Scarlett Johansson in ‘Under the Skin’. Adam has Neurofibromatosis and has been involved in outreach programs to prevent bullying associated with difference. He has also worked in television production for the BBC and Channel 4 including the shows ‘The Undateables’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

Ramy El-Bergamy, On-screen Diversity Executive at Channel 4: Channel 4 has a world class reputation for innovation their ambition to be the most Creatively Diverse broadcaster in Europe.

Dr Kirsty Liddiard & Professor Dan Goodley, University of Sheffield: Kirsty researches disability, intimacy and austerity. Dan specialises in theorising and challenging the conditions of disablism.

WHEN: Tuesday, 8 November 2016 from 18:00 to 19:30 (GMT)

WHERE: Auditorium – Sheffield Students’ Union University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TG

Click here for FREE tickets and to find out more.

2. FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement, Monday, 7 November 2016 from 18:30 to 20:30 (GMT), University of Sheffield

Next up is a screening of FIXED, also an event funded as part of the Economic and Social Science’s Festival of Social Science.

‘From bionic limbs and neural implants to prenatal screening, researchers around the world are hard at work developing a myriad of technologies to fix or enhance the human body. FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement takes a close look at the drive to be “better than human” and the radical technological innovations that may take us there’ (http://www.fixedthemovie.com, 2016).

Come and see the critically acclaimed, multi-award winning documentary ‘FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement’ (2015), in association with the University of Sheffield’s newest research institute, iHuman: The Institute for the Study of the Human. The screening will be followed by discussion and refreshments.

To watch the trailers, click here.

WHEN: Monday, 7 November 2016 from 18:30 to 20:30 (GMT)

WHERE: The Foundry – Sheffield Students’ Union University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TG

ACCESS: Wheelchair accessible venue; accessible parking; film will be subtitled. If you have any other access requirements or questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: engage@sheffield.ac.uk

Click here for FREE tickets and to find out more.

3. The Archers: Archers story is disabled women’s dark reality

The fictional trial of Helen Titchener for the attempted murder of her abusive and controlling husband Rob has reached its crucial point in BBC Radio 4’s daily soap. As avid fans, Professor Katherine Runswick-Cole from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and I have reflected in Disability Now on how this storyline all too clearly reflects the reality of life for too many disabled women. You can read this article here.

We have donated our fee for this article to the Helen Titchener Fund, a fund set up whereby all monies go to Refuge, for women and children against domestic violence. Please donate if you can afford to.

Tweet your thoughts to @kirstyliddiard1 and @k_runswick_cole or @BBCTheArchers and @DisabilityNow #thearchers

The Archers' Helen and Rob

The Archers’ Helen and Rob

Photo credit: The Archers: Helen Archer (LOUIZA PATIKAS), Rob Titchener (TIMOTHY WATSON) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Pete Dadds

4. Social Media: Liking for Like’s Sake – The Commodification of Disability on Facebook

Lastly, in the spirit of sharing, I felt it a good moment to re-post about an article I wrote some time ago, published in the Journal of Developmental Disabilities, a journal run by the Ontario Association of Developmental Disabilities, entitled Liking for Like’s Sake – The Commodification of Disability on Facebook. The article explores dominant representations of disability on social media, or more specifically, the very insipid images – or internet “memes” – of disability which have been labeled “inspiration porn” and “cripspiration” by disabled people. Read my original post, which was an accessible version of the journal article, or read the journal article itself here.

Liking for Like’s Sake – The Commodification of Disability on Facebook

Liking for Like’s Sake – The Commodification of Disability on Facebook

 

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