Tuesday 2nd January 2024
It’s Blue (they/them) here, the new researcher for filmpro. To give you a bit of background about me, I am a mixed-race, neurodiverse, queer artist from South London, I have an organising background based in squatting and am interested in what it means to be ‘human’ and love in and outside of racial capitalism. I like to write, make mosaics and sing in choirs.
My first two weeks on the filmpro with ten project has been great, it’s been a really welcoming and perspective shifting experience to work amongst other Disabled artists. Having conversations about how our lives have led us to this collective work has made me reflect a lot about how Disability justice in practice embraces difference as a mode of building solidarity.
To get started we recognised that within the Disability justice community there are people who are multiply oppressed, making methods of connecting to groups that bit harder. To address this issue we developed a mind map of intersecting experiences of oppression that make Disability justice inaccessible. These things included experiences such as: being houseless, immigration status, incarceration and being a sex worker. We are discussing how these communities might relate to their own disability and disability justice movements, how we might reach them and what other movements they might be involved with. This really helped with understanding who we want to benefit from this research the most, established our values for the project and raised questions about access.
From this we have now developed a working glossary of terms that might be useful for those who are engaging with Disability Justice. We are using a mix of definitions from academic institutions, grassroots organisations and adding our own spin rooted in our experiences and subsequent visions for collective freedom. We are including useless words and their replacements. Not only does this help us to establish where we are leaning but also reminds us to stay on the ball with distributing these ideas in the most accessible ways possible. We hope to include this working document on our website at the end of the project. We would like to make this a reflexive learning resource: having searchable terms that may be in the same family and participatory, and encouraging edits to be made from the filmpro community and visitors to our website.
Another aspect of my work so far has been to develop a call out for our digital launch of our research in 2024. In collaboration with Meg, the project manager for filmpro with ten we have developed an easy-read brief outlining the project’s goals and structure. We are currently looking for contributors for the first stage of the project. We are seeking disabled artists, activists and organisers to contribute to the research project filmpro with ten, the first of its kind to explore the relationship between art and Disability justice in South London. For this research I have constructed a google form, asking contributors to detail the ways in which they are affected by ableism and the communities they are connected to. This will be linked on our social media and linked to DPO’s that we are connected to. We will use these contributions to further the next stages of the research: 1:1 interviews that will inform practical development labs that help disabled artists and organisers better access Disability justice movements and their creative practice.