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Photo of block buildings with bus stop in front showing a large, yellow Channel 4 poster to promote the Paralympic Games

LU Arts announces new Radar project placing the spotlight on Gendered Re-presentations of Disability

Coinciding with the recent launch of UK Disability History Month (18 November-18 December), Radar is delighted to announce it has commissioned two artists to explore the gendered re-presentations of disability in Paralympic media.

The commissioned work will form part of a larger project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and led by Dr Emma Pullen, a Lecturer in Sport Management based within the University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Gendered Representations of Disability: Equality, Empowerment and Marginalisation in Paralympic Media is a research project focused on the concerns around the media visibility of Para athletes. Taking an intersectional approach, the project explores the way gender and race structure the media representations of Para athletes and the extent this normalises and popularises certain disabled identities over others. 

The project will analyse different forms of media coverage as well as investigate how different groups interact with media representations, such as Para athletes and people with disabilities with no connection to sport, to further explore the cultural impact of Paralympic media on lived experience. 

The two artists working with Radar are Sophie Hoyle and Christopher Samuel. Sophie and Christopher will be using data from the research to present a piece of work that will be shown at Loughborough University London in 2022 as part of an event launching the research project’s summary report. Their work will also be displayed online via the Radar website.  

Sophie and Christopher are still deciding the form their work will take and where their ideas will take them, but Radar and the wider research team are excited to see what they produce. In the new year, an ‘In Conversation’ event with the artists and the academics will take place. 

Sophie Hoyle is an artist and writer whose practise explores an intersectional approach to post-colonial, queer, feminist, critical psychiatry and disability issues. Their work looks at the relation of the personal to (and as) political, individual, and collective anxieties, and how alliances can be formed where different inequalities and marginalisation intersect. Sophie is influenced by their own personal experiences of being queer, non-binary and experiencing psychiatric conditions and trauma. 

Christopher Samuel is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practise is rooted in identity and disability politics, much of which echoes his own lived experience. Interrogating his personal understanding of identity as a disabled person impacted by inequality and marginalisation, he responds with urgency, humour and poetic subversiveness throughout his work making it accessible to a wider audience of whom some can identify and relate to.  

Producer of Radar Laura Purseglove commented: “Radar is excited to have the opportunity to work with Sophie and Christopher as part of this important research project. Both artists have a track record of producing insightful works which explore and critique the exclusionary structures which produce disability while reclaiming autonomy and advocating for more equitable futures for all of us.” 

More information about Radar can be found via the dedicated website.