Showing posts from April, 2017

Does Public Disability History Need a Cultural Model of Disability?

by Anne Waldschmidt , University of Cologne Until today, efforts to develop a cultural model of disability have been rare. However, in parallel with the development of the social model and its critical discussion and partly independent of it, during the past decades we have witnessed an increase in cultural studies with regard to disability. We can already identify cultural disability studies as an innovative and prolific research field carried out in the humanities (see for example Waldschmidt et al. 2017). Yet, it is striking that in contrast to the social model of disability, which is often accused of dogmatism, the field of cultural disability studies still looks more like a patchwork quilt. The latter has not yet found to unique contours, despite an ongoing discussion on the implications of culture for disability constructions. The National Gallery architecture and Alison Lapper sculpture at Trafalgar Square, London, UK. Ph: CGP Grey As early as 1994, Tom Shakespeare

How albinism rose to the center stage of disability advocacy in Tanzania (and what this tells us about ‘local’ histories of disability)

by Sam De Schutter , University of Leiden. In the morning of Saturday 3 December 2016 I arrived at the Mnazi Mmoja park in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. After walking around for a while, trying to determine where I needed to be, I saw a group of people signing under a banner that said “Maadhimisho ya Siku ya Kimataifa ya Watu Wenye Ulemavu”. That sight told me that I was at the right spot, as I had been invited to join the “Celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities” 1 . Organized by the Tanzania Federation of Disabled People’s Organizations (SHIVYAWATA), this International Day is used as a tool to gain public attention for the rights of people with disabilities, but also as an opportunity to directly communicate with the government. Apart from musical performances and sketches by a theatre group, most of the day consisted of speeches. These were directed at the government officials that were present. Among them was Tanzanian lawyer Dr. Abdallah Possi, now Deputy St