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

Upcoming Radar event brings artists and experts together to discuss the politics of Paralympic representation

On Thursday 10 March, two commissioned artists will join a Loughborough researcher and curator to discuss their hopes for an upcoming Radar Project.

Artists Sophie Hoyle and Christopher Samuel will speak with researcher Dr Emma Pullen, and curator and postgraduate researcher Sam West, about what artistic methods can tell us about issues of disability, representation, power and sport.

Disability, Empowerment and Paralympic Media: The Politics of Representation will also explore in greater depth the disabled sporting bodies who are not celebrated across various media, and to what extent events such as the Paralympics truly showcase and represent intersections of disability, race, class, gender and sexuality.

The event is part of a wider project linked to research funded by the Arts and Humanities Council and led by Dr Emma Pullen, a Lecturer in Sport Management.

Gendered Representations of Disability: Equality, Empowerment and Marginalisation in Paralympic Media focuses on the concerns around the media visibility of Para athletes. Taking an intersectional approach, the project explores the way gender and race structure 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, such as Para athletes and people with disabilities with no connection to sport, interact with media representations to further explore the cultural impact of Paralympic media on lived experience. 

Sophie and Christopher will be using data from the research to present a piece of work that will be exhibited at Loughborough University London in September 2022 at the project’s closing event. Their work will also be displayed online via the Radar website.  

Programme Coordinator David Bell commented: “There is undoubtedly much to celebrate about the extent and quality of Paralympic media coverage. Yet problems remain, and this event will combine artistic and academic knowledge to probe issues of power, representation, classification and identity; both as they are and as they could be.”

The event takes place online and will be held from 6.30pm-8pm. Those who would like to attend must sign up in advance and can book their place here.

Further information about the speakers can be found here.

This event will be live-streamed via Zoom, with live BSL interpretation and AI-generated captioning. Participants will be asked to give an audio description of any images they show. If you would like to attend and have accessibility needs not addressed by the above, please contact Radar's Programme Coordinator David Bell (