No Triumph, No Tragedy
What a wonderful privilege it was to be interviewed on Radio 4 by Peter White this week.
Program Description on BBC:
“Peter White, who has been blind since birth, interviews Sophie Morgan, the artist, media commentator and disability activist who became a wheelchair user in 2003 after a car accident. Sophie was only eighteen when she was left paralysed in a car accident: at the time she had been on the brink of starting her law degree, but following her injuries she decided to study art and concentrate on her drawings and oil paintings. She uses her public profile to challenge attitudes to disability and created the Mannequal: a wheelchair for a mannequin to be used in high street clothing stores. Her aim was to change perceptions of disability in the fashion and retail industries and there have been shifts in attitudes since. Challenging expectations about what is possible also played a part in Sophie’s decision to appear in the BBC documentary, Beyond Boundaries, with eleven people with disabilities trekking across the Nicaraguan jungle. She tells Peter that it was during that journey that she really confronted the extent of her injuries, coming face to face with her disability and paralysis: “It was when I realised that no matter what attitude I have, if my environment isn’t accessible, then I am utterly disabled. I was so gutted that I became sick and had to come home early.” Sophie has various coping strategies aimed at maximising what she can do instead of focusing on her limitations: “The hardest thing is not being able to be the full and whole person that I am in my mind and in the mind of others. But the greatest thing is seeing the world from a unique position. It means that every day I am grateful for what I have. That can be a rare thing.”