This September, Shape History launched the second iteration of the History Shaper Fund and after sharing our outstanding finalists, we’re incredibly excited to announce our winner, Clare Baines!
Clare’s winning project is an in person community & an accessible podcast called “Crip club”, which uses film discussion as a way to tackle ableism behind the camera, on screen and in cinemas.
The project will give the disabled community its own brave space to discuss, to share and fundamentally to connect. Clare hopes to change perceptions of disability. No more pity parties, but to give a voice to the community that she knows and loves, which is joyous.
Clare will receive £10,000, 6 months of mentoring from our team, and full use of our office space. To begin her 6 month project, Clare has penned a foreword to address her ambitions for her winning project, what she hopes for the future and why she chose to put this idea forward for the History Shaper Fund.
WINNER | CLARE BAINES, 24 | CRIP CLUB
My name is Clare Baines (she/her) and I am a blind creative. I use storytelling to create community, connection and belonging for disabled people. I facilitate conversations and challenge society’s perception of disability, queerness and all the juicy, joyful intersections in between.
Very serendipitously I found out about the fund via Instagram stories, how very Gen-Z of me. What struck me about this fund, and shape history in general, is how they use their expertise to raise awareness about social issues in a vibrant, joyful way. To top that, the fact that it’s not only a fund, but provides mentorship across the project is invaluable.
How did Crip Club come about?
As a film lover and as a disabled film lover, I was sick of seeing actors being celebrated for cripping up. Cripping up is the practice of when a non-disabled actors plays the role of a disabled character. A brief history lesson, 59 non-disabled actors have been Oscar nominated for playing disabled people. 50% of those nominations turn into the golden statue. Whereas only 3 disabled people have won for best performance. Let’s do some maths together, the Oscars have been running for 91 years with 4 categories for best performance that’s a total 374 awards and yet only 3 of those have been awarded to disabled actors.
- 1949 Harold Russell – The best years of our lives
- 1986 Marlee Matlin – Children of a lesser god
- 2022 Troy Kotsur – CODA
That’s less than 1% of awards to disabled actors. 1 in 4 people are disabled in the UK & US.
If film and culture represent society then why is only a non-disabled society not being portrayed? And when it is being portrayed why is it only superheroes, trauma porn and pity parties? Where is the joy?
This is where Crip Club comes in.
Crip club is an in person community & an accessible podcast, the first of its kind. It uses film discussion as a way to tackle ableism behind the camera, on screen and in cinemas. It dissects the history of cripping up, provides accessible exhibition and aims to celebrate disabled filmmakers. Each week, the Crip club will invite a disabled filmmaker to celebrate them and their journey! Then together, we will review an Oscar celebrated disability portrayal. I aim to redefine the podcast format and make it truly accessible; which is why it will include BSL translation & a transcript, ensuring it will be accessible by all mainstream platforms. The dream is for Crip Club to become a monthly in person film club where all screenings have Audio Description and Descriptive Subtitles, and where disabled film programmers can programme whatever they want.
What’s the overall ambition?
My hopes for Crip Club are for the podcast
a) to be fully accessible
b) to reach its audience and
c) to start conversations.
Crip Club is not a one-off; it’s the beginning of a movement. The podcast will start streaming in January 2024 in the run up of the Oscars 2024 to create a buzz. To call on the film industry for better representation and support in front of and behind the camera and within our cinemas.
Finally, a huge thanks to the Shape History Team, they made the application process accessible, using voice notes as a way of answering applications questions, it made me feel incredibly supported throughout the application process. Another huge thanks to the judging team for being so welcoming and already gave several phenomenal suggestions and have made me truly excited to get started with the process.
Notes on Language:
Crip Club uses the social model, the model says that people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference. To understand better, read here.
Crip Club uses identity-based language.
Crip Club when using the word disabled is inclusive of deaf, disabled, and neurodivergent people.
The use of Crip, the history of the word and the reclamation. Crip is bold, rebellious and unapologetic. Crip has sass and attitude. Crip is a movement that has emerged from the disability community actively rebelling against ableist attitudes, prejudice and stereotypes. Read more about the history here.
THANKS AGAIN TO ALL OUR APPLICANTS OF THIS YEAR’S HISTORY SHAPER FUND. TO KEEP UP TO SPEED WITH THE NEXT ROUND OF APPLICATIONS, SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER VIA THE LINK BELOW 👇👇👇