How to define disability arts has long been debated within disability arts history. Here you can explore deposits that try to answer and develop that question. These images and quotations outline core principles of the Disability Arts Movement, how disability arts and disability politics inform each other and why disability arts contributed to disabled people's self-esteem.
Disability arts can be a whole lot of different things: it can be a celebration of disabled people’s lives; it can be very beautiful, very aesthetic; or it can be very politicised.
Tony Heaton, interviewed for Disability Now magazine, 2007
Many of the images we see of disability are imposed upon us from outside – the able-bodied view of disability. I try to find my own voice.
Nancy Willis, interviewed for Disability Arts In London, September 1994
The Disability Arts Movement is one of the highlights of our struggle. It has given us the confidence to express those emotions we have been denied… It is fun. Disability Arts has given us a community and, importantly, an audience.
Steve Cribb, The Price of Nice – are Disabled Artists Cotton-wooled?
I don’t think disability arts would have been possible without disability politics coming first… Our politics teach us that we are oppressed, not inferior… They have taught us, not simply to value ourselves, but to value ourselves as disabled people.
Allan Sutherland, Disability Arts, Disability Politics, 1989