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Bedding Out:
Art, Activism and Twitter

By Lucy Burke and Liz Crow
In Ellis, K and Kent, M (Eds) (2017) Disability and Social Media: Global Perspectives (Eds. Ellis, K and Kent, M), Ashgate Publishing

Also published in Korean by the Korean Foundation for the Disabled, translated by Hakjisa Publishers



Bedding Out was a live durational work performed by Liz Crow that drew attention to the usually hidden aspects of her life in order to bring to light the complexity of her lived experience as a disabled person. The performance took place in the context of the then UK Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government’s austerity agenda and the massive overhaul of the benefits system and changes to support and eligibility criteria for disabled claimants. The overarching aim of the work was to challenge the ideological legitimation of austerity and benefit cuts in the rhetoric of cheats, scroungers and skivers. The conception of Bedding Out placed the potential of new social media, specifically in this instance, of Twitter, in conjunction with continuous livestream, at the centre of its exploration of the human consequences of austerity and changes to the benefits system for disabled claimants. Each performance set out to open up a dialogue between Liz, her audience and Twitter users. Bedding Out gained its energy from the temporal immediacy of Twitter and its capacity to generate and record multiple responses in real time.  In this chapter, we consider the ways in which the integration of new social media potentially transforms the ways in which we conceive of the arts based political activism, the politics and ethics of artistic practice and the capacity of both to effect change in the world.

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To cite this page: Burke, Lucy and Crow, Liz (2017) Bedding Out: Art, Activism and Twitter, Roaring Girl Productions [online] [Available at:] [Accessed 19/06/2024]