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Created and performed by Liz Crow
Live durational performance, 2012-2013
With audio description, captions, BSL interpretation and transcripts
Originating with a performance as part of SPILL Festival of Performance in November 2012, Bedding Out emerges from the current welfare benefits overhaul, which threatens many with poverty and a propagandist campaign that has seen a doubling in disability hate crime.
The project sees artist-activist Liz Crow taking her private bed-oriented life and placing it in the public arena for all to see over a 48-hour period in order to show that what many see as contradiction, or fraud, is simply the complexity of real life. Bedding Out has gone on to tour as part of the People Like You exhibition at Salisbury Arts Centre in April 2013, coinciding with the introduction of the Personal Independence Payment, which replaced Disability Living Allowance on 8 April 2013.
Members of the public are invited to participate in ‘Bedside Conversations’, gathering around the bed to talk about the work, its backdrop and its politics, while those unable to attend in person are invited to take part virtually, through social media. The Salisbury performance was watched on livestream by more than 9,750 people in over 50 countries and received national coverage in The Guardian newspaper. In August 2013, Bedding Out travelled to Edinburgh where it was performed as part of The Fringe.
Bedding Out also exists in installation form.
Bedding Out was commissioned as part of Disability Arts Online’s Diverse Perspectives project (www.disabilityartsonline.org.uk), which commissioned eight disabled artists across the UK to make a new artwork that would spark conversations and debate about the Creative Case for Diversity.
Commendation for innovation, Jodi Awards for accessible digital culture, 2013
Rowen Jade Award, 2013
These Twitter Conversations contain a selection of the many thousands of #beddingout tweets generated from the run up to the Salisbury and Edinburgh performances to their aftermath.
Eight conversations were held with people around the bed, with commentary from the twitter feed, as well as several conversations that were specifically twitter-based. As well as public twitter conversations, others were held with Occupational Therapy Chat, DADAA (Disability in the Arts, Disadvantage in the Arts) in Australia and with students at Sheffield Hallam University.
Tweets have been edited for ease of reading and reordered by theme. A few additional comments have been included from Facebook and The Guardian article about Bedding Out. Some conversations run over several tweets and have been edited into paragraphs.
All URLs were checked in September 2013.
Liz Crow would like to thank Judith Stewart and Emma Sheppard for help with editing and especially ‘tweetmeisters’ Dawn Willis and Laura, without whom there wouldn’t have been a twitter feed at all!
A subsequent book chapter by Lucy Burke and Liz Crow considers the way that Bedding Out placed new social media at the centre of its exploration of changes to the benefits system and the human consequences of austerity, potentially transforming the ways in which we conceive of arts based political activism, the politics and ethics of artistic practice and the capacity of both to effect change in the world.
Marketing & chatRead Online Download PDF
Labels, identity and presentationRead Online Download PDF
Our LivesRead Online Download PDF
What objects do you keep by your bed?Read Online Download PDF
What has DLA allowed you to do?Read Online Download PDF
The Social ModelRead Online Download PDF
Disabled people’s organisations, advocates and charitiesRead Online Download PDF
A working system?Read Online Download PDF
Occupational Therapy Chat: on recovery, wellbeing, facilitation and navigationRead Online Download PDF
PropagandaRead Online Download PDF
CampaigningRead Online Download PDF
1 - 3 Nov 2012
SPILL Festival of Performance, Ipswich Art School Gallery
Bedding Out installation
8 Mar - 9 Apr 2013
People Like You exhibition, Salisbury Arts Centre
10 - 12 April 2013
Salisbury Arts Centre
Bedding Out installation
4 May - 15 Jun 2013
People Like You exhibition, Lighthouse Centre for the Arts
9 - 10 Aug 2013
Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Hunt & Darton Cafe
Bedding Out exhibition
Sep - Nov 2013
People's Republic of Stokes Croft, Bearpit Outdoor Gallery
Bedding Out installation
27 Jun - 19 Jul 2014
Performing Crip Time: Bodies in Deliberate Motion exhibition, Space4Art
Bedding Out installation
17 Nov 2015 - 17 Jan 2016
Art, Life, Activism, Attenborough Arts Centre
BBC Big Screens, UK-wide
DPAC conference, London
Daisy Festival, Guildford
Autonomous Spaces exhibition, Rennes
Created & performed by Liz Crow
Trish Wheatley (SPILL Festival)
CoQuo PR (Salisbury)
Amy Hicks (Edinburgh Fringe)
Dawn Willis (Salisbury)
Laura Stringhetti (Edinburgh Fringe)
British Sign Language Interpreters
Emma Saunders & Carol Rees-Williams (Salisbury)
Yvonne Waddell (Edinburgh Fringe)
Marian Cleary (Salisbury)
Dear Liz, Bravo! Your spirit shines!
A valuable insight into lives beyond our own
wit and rage…defiance and openness...daring and brilliance
Liz Crow performs Bedding In, doing what she does best: radical risky truth-telling
An urgent piece calling to collective action
When lives are literally at stake, it's easy to see why it drives people like Liz Crow to get out of bed in the morning. Or even stay in it.
Wonderful concept that really speaks to my experience, exactly the type of subject that Disability Arts should be exploring
A perf activist doing important work not “just” for the disabled community, but for
*all of us*
RGP can’t advise on benefits applications and appeals – this is not our specialist area – but these groups can.
Citizens Advice Bureau
“We help people resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing free, independent and confidential advice.” Website lists local branches.
Law Centres Network
Search for your nearest law centre.
Benefits and Work
Subscription service (£19.45/year) for detailed and up-to-date guides on how to make effective claims and appeals.
Confidential helpline open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. “Talk to us any time you like, in your own way, and off the record – about whatever’s getting to you… Please don’t suffer alone.” Website lists local branches.
08457 90 90 90 (UK only)
Samaritans youth project: 020 8692 5228
Turn to Me
Online mental health support community, where you can remain anonymous. Valuable resource in times of real crisis and whilst feeling suicidal thoughts.
In Scotland: Telephone Counselling Service for Disabled People in Scotland
Monday – Thursday 11am – 3pm
0808 8010362 (freephone in Scotland)
The People’s Assembly
A national forum for anti-austerity views to bring together campaigns against cuts and privatisation with trade unionists in a movement for social justice
Disabled People Against the Cuts
Direct action for justice and human rights for all disabled people
Black Triangle Campaign
Anti-defamation campaign in defence of disability rights
In Actual Fact
Anti-propaganda site of actual facts about cuts and claimants
Your signature is needed to call for a cumulative impact assessment of welfare reform, and a new deal for sick & disabled people based on their needs, abilities and ambitions
Diary Of A Benefit Scrounger
Sue Marsh shares information on welfare cuts, illness, disability and general, current, political.
Benefit Scrounging Scum
Life in a broken bureaucracy with a bendy and borked body
Where’s the Benefit?
Campaigning against the government’s distressing war on disabled benefit claimants
Contact your MP
Identify your MP and write to them free.
They Work for You
Find out what your MP, MSP or MLA is doing in your name, read debates, written answers, see what’s coming up in Parliament, and sign up for email alerts.
The Tallest Order
Filmed interviews documenting the government’s cuts in disability funding and benefits
Jolly, D (2012) A Tale of Two Models: Disabled people vs Unum, Atos, Government and Disability Charities
Explains the biopsychosocial model that underpins changes to disability benefits, which claims that we can think ourselves out of being disabled and disqualifies large numbers from qualifying for the support they are entitled to.
Wintour, P (2013) The Day Britain Changes: welfare reforms and coalition cuts take effect, The Guardian, 1 April
A summary of the changes being introduced from 1 April 2013.
Baumburg, B, Bell, K & Gaffney, D (nd) Tall Tales about Welfare Reform, Red Pepper
Refuting some of the lies.
Tomlinson, R (2013) 10 lies we’re told about welfare, The Guardian, 2 April
Refuting more of the lies.
Stuckler, D & Basu, S (2013)
The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills, Penguin Books
Looking at the human costs of austerity policy.
Compass (2013) Social Security for All: the renewal of the welfare stage (briefing)
Report from a summit of groups, organisations, chariiites and individuals seeking to defend a comprehensive social security system in response to a speech by David Cameron in summer 2012 which signalled the end of the welfare state if the Tories win a majority at the next election.
Broach, S & Whittaker, K (2012) Using the Law to Fight Cuts to Disabled People’s Services
Summarises the key legal rights for disabled people and those supporting them, and looks at some of the general duties which may prevent services being cut or withdrawn.
Disability News Service
The UK’s only news agency specialising in disability issues, with a weekly news roundup on a range of issues including benefits.
NHS Whistle Blower
Former Regional Director of the Department of Health explains changes in the NHS and why he resigned his post in protest. Search on ‘Gabriel Scally’.
Quarmby, K (2012) Leveson is showing ‘wilful blindness’ towards disabled people, The Guardian, May
Shows the connection between the fraudster rhetoric and hate crime.
The Ten Stages of Genocide
Genocide is a process that develops in ten stages that are predictable but not inexorable. At each stage, preventive measures can stop it.
The Three Rs: Rights, Resistance and Reclamation
An interactive presentation and debate with Debbie Jolly and Robert Williams-Findlay, co-founders of Diabled People Against Cuts, evaluating the changing nature of contemporary disability politics since the UK Coalition came to power.
To cite this page: Crow, Liz (2012) Bedding Out, Roaring Girl Productions [online] [Available at: http://www.roaring-girl.com/work/bedding-out/] [Accessed 23/03/2019]