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Problematic Icons: Greta Thunberg and Helen Keller

By Emmeline Burdett   Spitting Image The British satirical puppet show Spitting Image was originally broadcast on the TV station ITV between 1984 and 1996, but it has recently been revived. As the show satirises politicians and other public figures, it is inevitable that the puppets featured in the revival are different from the ones in the original programme One of the puppets in the revival is of teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. This has led to claims that Spitting Image is not satirising Thunberg as an individual public figure, but instead encouraging the public to regard all autistic people as figures of fun. This is far from the first time that Thunberg’s autism has been portrayed as something which makes her very vulnerable, and means that criticism of her is unfair. Some of her detractors have gone further and suggested that it also means that her perception of reality is flawed , and thus that what she says about climate change is unreliable.   The inabili

Does literature ever give anything other than a negative image of disability?

‘What is their Crime?’ Disability, Race and Eugenics in Britain’s Brexit Debate

Parental Advocacy and the Changing Attitudes Towards Down syndrome in Post-war Britain

“People with disabilities in the GDR” – perspectives on public history from an inclusive historical research project

Depression – A life threatening disability in Nazi Germany