In partnership with animator Tom Foolery and with support from Bangor University and an Amsterdam council exchange project, we gave voice to the sense of alienation felt by many of those who had participated in our Newsham Park based activities.
This reflected the sense that, in order to get help, you needed to focus on your disabilities, rather than your abilities, and emphasizing your conformity to a category of need, rather than investing in your own potential for learning and healing. So many felt trapped in what we began to describe as the ‘Normalizer’. Towards the end of our five years of practice in Newsham Park, we sought to communicate this experience more widely through an animation. Our aim was to convey this sense of being trapped in a world that invites you to feel powerless. The response surprised us.
Rather than struggling to identify with this experience, most of the participants, whatever their role or position, identified with that sense that the worlds in which they lived and worked were no longer about people but rather about things.