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D4D: Electric Bodies - 'Stories of Power' poetry and interview content

dataset
posted on 31.03.2022, 23:08 by Jess Thom, Allan Sutherland
D4D (Disability and Community: Dis/engagement, Dis/enfranchisement, Dis/parity and Dissent) was a four year AHRC Connected Communities project investigating issues around disability and community.

Electric Bodies was one of the eight project strands. It explored the relationship between the disabled artist and the disability arts community through a series of extensive life history interviews edited into transcription poetry cycles.

'Stories of Power' is a cycle of transcription poems written by Allan Sutherland. They are based on interviews conducted by Sutherland with the writer and performer Jess Thom.

The poems cover a life lived with Tourette's, starting with growing up as a neuro-diverse child and experiences of the special school system. Thom describes how she went from art college to playwork and from there started to develop an arts practice which led to setting up Touretteshero with Matthew Pountney. She talks about the devising and performance of the show 'Backstage in Biscuit Land' and its subsequent live television broadcast. Thom mentions her performance of Samuel Beckett's 'Not I' along with how she obtained permission to stage it from the Beckett estate. Finally she also advances the idea that all performances should be relaxed performances which do not exclude disabled people.

This item contains the following files:

The poems (PDF)
Recording of Allan Sutherland reading the poems (MP3)
Transcript of the interviews (PDF)
Audio of the interviews (3 x MP3)

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Funding

Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK)

History