International Day of Disabled people on 3rd December was celebrated by AHOP with the launch of the film ‘Our Guild.’ Tentative young people, families and friends arrived at the M Shed studios, having worked on the film in August this was the first time they would see the finished piece. Soon the room was filled with partners and new faces, keen to hear more about this exciting project.
The event was opened by Esther Fox, head of the Accentuate programme, who introduced the project and gave background to AHOP. We then heard from some AHOP volunteers speaking on this year’s UK Disability History Month’s theme, Language.
Chris and one of the young people in the film considered the language used by the Guild committee and leaders in its earlier years. They both questioned its charity and sympathy and wondered what we should see as patronising and what ‘of its time’.
Laurine challenged us to think about choices in speech and the effect it can have especially around disability. You can read her full speech here. Hearing the opinions of those who had been exploring the language of the Guild over the last few months brought the archive research to life through individual perspectives.
Following these three reflections Laura Welti from the Bristol Disability Forum delivered a presentation on the Social model of disability. Laura asked us to think carefully about the words we use around disability and sparked many of the audience debating language usage.
Ahmad and Zoya, two of the young people involved in the film shared their experiences. It was wonderful to hear their process and opened up the film as a piece in an important journey; bringing hidden stories to the foreground and exploring history together.
The young people were really excited to see their work on the big screen and everyone involved impressed with the film. The film will be screened as part of the exhibition in October in M Shed.
Thanks to M Shed for hosting the event and to everyone involved in making this an interesting and thought-provoking launch.