Week 5: Quilt tour continues #107days

This week, Week 5, has been jam packed with Justice Quilt action and as the quilt departs the awesome People’s History Museum in Manchester we thought we’d update you on the next stop on it’s tour. Last year Chris Hatton and Hannah Morgan adopted Day 49 in the original #107days with colleagues at Lancaster. Then last September, the Quilt was unveiled at Lancaster University at the CEDR conference, and now it is returning for a brief residency.

Screenshot 2015-04-24 17.50.29

Live at LICA (Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts) starts on Monday 27 April and includes Open 2015 at the Peter Scott Gallery for three weeks:

Live at LICA is turning its gallery into a social space complete with café bar to explore the question – what is a 21st century art centre?

It’s a question we feel is fundamental to the culture industry right now and will be at the core of OPEN, our annual season that presents and discusses ideas for the future with our communities, artists and peers.

We feel an art centre should be communal and tell us who we are and who we want to be; if not a social movement, it should at least provide a deeper awareness and sense of place. It should have a design that can situate all disciplines together in the search for knowledge and understanding and have at its core the unique process and language of art, which is able to articulate things that cannot be expressed otherwise.

As part of Open 2015 there will be three related #JusticeforLB events.

FlagTour  For one day only, Mon 18 May, the Sparrowhawk Art Exhibition will see art collected as part of the campaign on temporary display in the ground floor of the Gallery. Alongside the Justice Quilt, the #JusticeforLB flag that debuted at Glastonbury 2014 will also be on display, with the Bus Pictures drawn as part of #107days and the beautiful wall hanging that Briony made last year.


There will also be a Campaign Talk on Monday 18 May that you are all very welcome to:

Join Prof Chris Hatton of the Centre for Disability Research, Lancaster University, Dr Sara Ryan and others at 3pm for a panel discussion on the #JusticeforLB campaign.

The #JusticeforLB campaign broadly agitates to change the way that people with learning disabilities and their families are treated and valued by society.

The talk will provide background to the campaign, and discuss how a crowdsourced project works, the success of the grass roots digital campaign and the importance of artwork as an expression of political resistance and thought.

On Saturday 23 May, Open15 has a family community day and as part of that there will be a #JusticeforLB pop-up picnic, as first announced here. Designed to ensure every child gets the chance to attend a party where they’re welcome, we hope many of you will make it. 

The quilt will be on display throughout Open15 and we hope that many of you will make it along to Lancaster, and don’t forget to share what you think with us.

Day 49: An academic point? #107days

Day 49 was adopted by the Centre for Disability Research (CeDR) at Lancaster University. Hannah Morgan and Chris Hatton, two of our greatest supporters since #JusticeforLB evolved, organised and presented two events, a lecture on Institutional Abuse for first year students on the Contemporary Social Problems module and a seminar by Chris, Laughing Boy versus the Zombie Institution: Closing the new institutions for people with learning disabilities. They live tweeted the seminar and have compiled a storify about the day here.

When asked why they are supporting #107days and #JusticeforLB, Hannah had this to say:


I’ve known Sara from the disability studies circuit going back to the first Disability Studies conference we hosted here at Lancaster in 2003 and always held in the George Fox building in the picture. Since then we’ve met up at different conferences and events and always at the Lancaster Conference.  One of the things I really value about disability studies is the sense of community that has developed and the pleasure taken from watching people’s work evolve and develop over time. Sara came to the first conference as a phd student presenting ‘I’m sorry, she’s special needs”: explaining learning disabilities in public encounters. As her blog readers will know she has a particular gift for a snappy title and for writing that is engaging, rigorous and thoughtfully. I started following her blog soon after it started often laughed at the early LB tales and sharing her frustration at how little was offered and how little value attached to the dudes in our life.

I saw Sara last year at the Nordic Network on Disability Research (NNDR) Conference in Finland where Sara presented her paper in tweet length sentences. Her mastery of social media was apparent. Catching up outside sessions – in May last year – it was clear things weren’t going well for LB and that the unit was operating in a way that devalued her and their families’ contribution to LBs life. Little did we know then what was to follow.

Screenshot 2014-05-07 21.33.45 Justice for LB seminar 7 May 2014

In his presentation today Chris Hatton talked about the sparkly spiral of shame where us academics merit fourth place after providers, commissioners and regulators. He highlighted the way in which our lives remain as disconnected from the realities of many people with learning disabilities lives and that we (as a group) are just as craven in the face of (illusory?) access to influence and funding. This is true, all academics working in disability studies or elsewhere with disabled people do need frequent cold hard looks in the mirror. We need to remember why we do what we do. For me, and for many of my colleagues – LB Buses postcards have provoked lots of conversations and many offices in the department are resplendent with a buses or colours postcard. It is what – in the words of another disability studies colleagues – ‘keeps us right’.