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Cripping the Venice Biennale

The exuberant history of resistance by the Disability Arts Movement gets a historic review in Venice.

Cripping the Venice Biennale
Crip Arte Spazio – Damn in Venice, 2024, exhibition view. Courtesy: CREA; photograph: Andy Barker Photography
Looking down at the poor cripple has been a long-[held] ableist norm, but looking up at the power [of] crip is an interesting position.

One of the most vibrant art festivals I've ever seen is taking place right now in Venice, Italy.

‘Crip Arte Spazio’, is the disability-focused pavilion organized by Shape Arts for this year’s Venice Biennale.

The pavilion takes as its starting point the Disability Arts Movement, which developed in 1970s Britain and aligned creativity and activism as tools to campaign for the civil rights of disabled people. 

Featuring work from artists such as Terence Birch, Tony Heaton OBE, Jameisha Prescod, Abi Palmer, Ker Wallwork, Tanya Raabe-Webber, Jason Wilsher-Mills, this festival is full of Crip activism, creativity, and feeling. 

For those of us who cannot attend in person can watch "Abi Palmer Invents the Weather" by Abi Palmer - a creative and personal exploration of weather, and the climate crisis, starring her cats Lola-Lola and Cha-U-Kao.

Read more about this historic exhibition here.

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