Showing posts from August, 2019

The exhibition “Prohibition of Handicap”: challenging public perceptions of disability in 1970s Sweden

By Anna Derksen In the early 1970s an unconventional exhibition traveled Sweden: By inviting visitors to experience disability from the perspective of a wheelchair user, Prohibition of Handicap tested the boundaries between the individual limitations of a disability versus those created by society. The exhibition was a cooperation between the public exhibition agency Riksutställningar and students of interior design at Konstfack , the School of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. With a thought-provoking title and a crossed-out wheelchair as its symbol, Prohibition of Handicap was shown between 1971 and 1973 in 23 different locations all over the country and confronted about 75.000 visitors with the radical message that disability was not the result of an individual deficit, but an inaccessible social environment full of barriers, ignorance and prejudices. However, not everyone thought a state-funded exhibition to be the right place for such messages, or even saw it as it a “sin