5 files

D4D: Electric Bodies - 'Telling Stories' poetry and interview content

posted on 2022-04-01, 18:31 authored by Julie McNamara, 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.

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

The poems cover growing up in a poor Irish family of storytellers on Merseyside, the part physical disability played in the family and the way that, as a girl child, McNamara was treated by her father as the son he'd never had. She tells how she became involved in theatre as a student and how in that same period she became a psychiatric patient. McNamara recounts her journey to disability arts and her role as Co-ordinator of London Disability Arts Forum. In later life she developed as a writer/performer ('Pig Tales') and set up the Vital Xposure theatre company. She gives detailed descriptions of the creation of such works as 'The Knitting Circle', 'Crossings' and 'Whisper Me Happy Ever After'.

This item contains the following files:

The poems (PDF)
Recording of McNamara reading the poems (WAV)
Transcript of the interview (PDF)
Audio of the interview (2 x MP3)

Additional note: the poems in 'Telling Stories' have been read aloud by McNamara rather than Sutherland (as in the other poetry cycles) because McNamara expressed a wish for the poems created from her interview content to be spoken by a female reader.

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Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK)