The “Swell”: Disability Arts in the Time of COVID-19

Faye Ginsburg, Mara Mills, Rayna Rapp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter surveys the disability arts in the United States during the pandemic. Disabled artists and activists responded to the COVID-19 crisis not only with heightened media advocacy and visibility, but also with reinvention of the public sphere to come. Artists have rethought remote access along with possibilities for work, care, and civic participation. The authors trace the technical rejigging, mutual aid, creative worldmaking, and intersectional activism that are the life lessons of living with non-normative bodyminds. Living otherwise has long characterized the daily creativity that disability demands, whether in the staging of daily life or on stage. The work of the disabled artist-activists discussed in this chapter indexes the high learning curve of the present and underscores that disability is not only an ingenious way to live—it is an ongoing set of critiques of the longstanding inequalities that underpin the present epidemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCurating Access
Subtitle of host publicationDisability Art Activism and Creative Accommodation
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781000648171
ISBN (Print)9780367775230
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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