Watch a recording of artists Dolly Sen, Christopher Samuel and disability historian Professor David Turner to hear about their experiences as users of Wellcome Collection and the methods they used to research the suppressed histories of disability.
Dolly discusses her current project, ‘Birdsong From Inobservable Worlds’. Using literature, performance and film, Dolly’s work explores and challenges the mental health archives as a gay, biracial woman with personal experience as an inpatient and student of the mental health system.
Christopher discusses his project ‘The Archive of the Unseen’. This multi-format interactive project tells the wider story of what it was like to grow up black, disabled and working class in 1980s Britain. Using the collections, Christopher addresses differences and similarities in the challenges faced historically by disabled people, and how this has been mediated over time through advocates such as Scope.
Professor David Turner discusses how disabled people’s experiences have been erased from histories of work and industrialisation, and how this history might be recovered from the archives and/or presented in public spaces such as museums. His current research explores the long history of disabled people’s political activism in Britain since the 18th century.
PhD candidate in the History of Art and Medieval Studies, Jess Bailey chairs the event. She has recently published research on disability based on her placement at Wellcome Collection.