Jan 10

Disabled People & Asylum Seekers Team Up For Mural Painting


A new mural has appeared on the site of a community centre in Easton in Bristol, the handiwork of disabled people and asylum seekers, who came together to depict some of the barriers they face in today’s society.

According to the Disability News Service, the mural – which was unveiled to mark Human Rights Day on December 10th – is also meant to act as a tribute to a disabled asylum seeker who was murdered in 2016.

Mike Steel from Bristol Reclaiming Independent Living (BRIL) explained that the project had brought deaf campaigners together with people from refugee and disabled people’s organisations.

He said: “One of the ideas behind the whole mural is that covid has exposed or magnified what’s been going on anyway… the exclusion that disabled people, people with chronic illness, feel.”

The mural itself is the latest to be produced over the last ten years through the Disability Murals project. The project was led by artist Andrew Bolton, with support from BRIL, the Thinking Futures social sciences festival and the Quartet Community Foundation, among others.

One of the ideas in the artwork was a chain with broken links, symbolising how the pandemic has resulted in the breaking of many of the links that had helped both disabled people and asylum seekers in the past.

Other similar works of art created by Disability Murals can be seen in London, Norwich and Frome, involving local disabled people from the communities there. Andrew Bolton also worked on a similar project in Bolivia – and a video about the work can be viewed on the website.

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