Over the months of May and June 2020, I spent so much time alluring myself into disability arts. Some people will mostly see me as an artist right now. I write music and will certainly be willing to perform more songs as a singer/songwriter in the future. A young adult novel is well underway as well. During the COVID-19 crisis I’ve also spent some time learning about and writing poetry. Plenty of people seem to appreciate the efforts I’ve made; for the time being, I’ll continue to design what they desire.
But what are “disability arts”?
Well, first of all, their levels of quality can match the code of any other kinds of artwork. However, I also consider disability arts to have a source of power. Or, at least, they really should. You see, real art always wants to send out a message. What’s set up is something interesting that relates to the thoughts within the designer’s mind. When disability arts is in front of us, disability-related messages should be sent over. This artwork could be a painting of your bedroom as you remain in isolation. It could a poem with words that list the imaginable answers to the many issues occurring for disabled people.
That’s at least what I think disability arts is about. That’s what it’s about on this website.
That doesn’t mean I discredit disabled artists who choose not to speak about disability within their artwork. Disabled people are only disabled by society. They are people, and they have equal rights to live the lives they enjoy. However, I do wonder whether if those who illustrate themselves as disability artists are truly selling their work with the right sort of description.
If you’re an artist who is disabled, you may paint, play music you’ve written, write literature or make films. But, is what you design as a disabled person making a political statement about disability?
The reason it doesn’t sound right
Sometimes, I think disabled people choose not to shout out about disability. And as mentioned, there’s no issues if they choose not to.
However, one word amplifying personal health problems in our lives is “disability”. Isn’t the disability in our lives only a subject to speak about when we wish to? Those who understand the social model of disability should understand we are disabled people, not people with disabilities. If disability is referred to, it should only be because we choose to do so. We refer to our own disabilities: other people shouldn’t.
The songs and poetry I write are often about staying strong and fighting ableism. They highlight the harrowing issues we’re currently having to manage. They also speak about the outcomes we wish to achieve. I see that as disability art.
Another example moves back to February 2020, when attending an exhibition at the Arts House in Wakefield. It featured items relating to Reasonable Adjustment, also known as RAD. This was a strong political movement group that endeavoured in the UK between 1988 and 1993. It involved a lot of protesting to gain better human rights for disabled people. Justin Edgar made an excellent short documentary for people to watch about it as well.
That was another example of disability art. In fact, I believe some interesting items on show only resembled what was used in that era. However, they were very accurately created to resemble what RAD used during that period. The day day impressed me, and spoke loudly about the difficult lives of disabled people in society.
I’m here to make a statement
But then, if a disabled man gains sings love songs gather acclaim, should that be consider as disability art? I’m not so convinced.
Disability arts are potentially a powerful force. The Reasonable Adjustment exhibition seemed strong to me. Therefore I want to show people more of what I believe it to be on this website. I have my own words to write with poetry There is music I’ve written, will write and will play in the future too. Plus, a new YA Novel that’s fairly far along may be around in the not-so-distant future.
But if you’re disabled and making arts that isn’t about disability, then I’m not so interested in your work.
I intend to blog more about other people’s disability arts that follow my rules. I believe it’s important for people to see and hear everything we have to say. When it comes down to disability arts, we want to harvest as many people as possible.
We need to shout out loud, and using disability arts is one way we can do more of it.