In the liminal

In the liminal

My second illustration created for the collaborative article “Cripping Climate Activism” between Women Enabled International and Revival Disability India by Anna Maria Joseph, with interviews by Àine, Lakshay and Tej.

When Anna asked me to create an illustration, I knew outright there was too much to illustrate in one piece. Here the aim is to show the positive synergy and negative outcomes of activism that are probably overlooked.

The questions of ‘how’ can disabled folx become involved in the climate agenda is illustrated, but potentially isn’t recognised. Activism is too often considered the active part of disruption, but activism comes in many forms, and can reinforce itself.

Illustration: On a purple background with pink twinkling stars, there are 4 visuals. One is on a yellow background in the shape of a speech bubble which features a person with purple hair in their room, advocating from their bed, on their laptop. They have their headphones on and are wearing a yellow shirt. A portion of their room is visible and includes a blue bedside table with medicines on it and a red first aid box, a stand above their bed with books and plants, and another bedside table on the opposite side of the bed in green color, on which their walking stick rests. A visual on an orange background shows a close-up of their laptop screen, which presents a blog with the title, ‘MAPA’. There is another visual on a green background, again in the shape of a speech bubble which features two people attending a climate protest. One person is standing holding a yellow board with black text, “most to lose” in all caps, and the symbol of a wheelchair user. They are with another person who is in a purple color wheelchair. Their faces are blurred out in black color. There is a final visual featured on a greyish-blue speech bubble. It shows a climate activist speaking at the UN. They have their blonde hair braided and are wearing a purple top and blue jeans, fastened with an orange belt. There is a graph behind them that shows how the climate crisis is escalating.

Here is a disabled, bed-bound activist (hello!) writing on their laptop sharing information in a blog, which may lead to paid work. Getting access to accurate and useful information is part of the whole narrative of climate justice because this culture war is not just about beliefs, it’s also about words.

This person’s article can be used as research at a climate conference. Research can just as easily be delivered by a disabled person with visible or invisible disabilities, as by someone who has no concept of that world.

The supporting protest marches that occur at the times of conferences can involve disabled protestors with their carers. However, it has been found that disabled protesters are likely to be recorded and their information sent to the DWP who in turn can decide to no longer offer disability benefits.

Not only do disabled people, who form part of the MAPA (Most Affected People and Areas) group, have to face the brunt of decisions taken on their behalf by uninterested parties, they can also lose possibly their only source of income for highlighting the precocious and collusive nature of business-as-usual.

How can you help?
Support your disabled activists.
Reinforce the inclusive agendas of all climate justice programmes.

Remember that if the basic level doesn’t include the needs of all disabled folx, then it’s not basic, it’s exclusionary.

To read the full article by Anna please click here.

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