Re-Connections: Disability, history and social justice activism in Bristol

  • Steel, Mike (Co-Principal Investigator)
  • Flack, Andrew J P (Co-Principal Investigator)
  • Ayres, George (Co-Investigator)
  • Yeo, Rebecca (Collaborator)

Project Details


Bristol has a rich, and much explored history of political, cultural and community activism. However, accounts of Disabled people’s own stories, contributions, and intersections and solidarity within the wider histories of activism have often been missing.

In response, Disabled activists and academics have sought to co-produce new knowledge of these connections. These responses have challenged assumptions by, for example; arguing that interdependence and inter-connectedness are shared concerns of disability and environmental activism (Abbott and Porter, 2013), that challenging ‘distinctions in human worth’ are essential for bringing systemic change for Disabled people and asylum seekers (Yeo, 2017) and by foregrounding Disabled people as creators and owners of our living histories (History of Place, 2018.)

While there is recognition that ‘the disabled people’s movement has revolutionised global understandings of disability’ (Goodley, 2017), and while recent conversations have started between animal and disability activists (e.g.Taylor, 2017) exploring the historical, contextual and inter-relational nature of activism more broadly may yield further understandings of living well for Disabled and neuro-divergent people in a period of austerity, ecological crisis and global conflict.

This interdisciplinary and co-produced ideas exchange proposal aims to learn from these responses, and draw together Disabled activists, academics, community researchers, historians, artists and performers. We aim to provoke discussion, exploration and creative responses to both the intersections and tensions of activism in Bristol and the South West of England.

Main activity

The main, initial activity will be to organise an event, to begin an exploration of the history, context and meanings of Disabled people’s activism in relation to wider fields of activism.
This event will include discussion of creative accounts of, and responses, to Disabled people’s activism. As a catalyst for this discussion we intend to show the documentary ‘Defiant Lives’, artwork by The Disability Murals project, alongside other film and spoken-word performances.

Layman's description

An event using film, art and spoken word that aims to research, explore and uncover the histories and connections of social justice and ecological activism in Bristol from the perspective of Disabled people .
Effective start/end date23/05/1831/07/18


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.