Seen but Seldom Heard-Bournmouth University Initiative

December 18, 2014 by richard

‘Seen but Seldom Heard’: Challenging perceptions of disability through poetry and performance.

One of the greatest causes of stigma surrounding disability is fear, due to the lack of direct experience and access the general public has to authentic stories of lived experiences shared by disabled people. Using participatory approaches, ‘Seen but Seldom Heard’ empowers a group of young disabled people with a ‘voice’ and the necessary creative skills to challenge stereotypes and engage in conversation about issues, policies and practices which affect them.

What is the project about?
The project began in early 2012 during the lead up to the Paralympics. Phase 1 used Paralympic values, symbols and athlete achievements as the focus for individually and group authored poetry. Whilst performance poetry remains at the heart of our work, we have taken the young people’s varied skills and interests into account including broader elements of ‘spoken word’ e.g. song, rap and comedy. We have also widened the focus to consider issues affecting young disabled people in their everyday lives e.g. more recent work has explored future aspirations within the context of the transition from school to adult life.

What have been the outputs?
The project developed from academic research; however, it has been crucial for us to engage in a multimedia dissemination strategy in order for us to have a wide reach when engaging with the public which consequently has the potential to influence perceptions.
Public performances include:
• The Cultural Olympiad Paralympic Celebrations, August 2012
• Bridport Literary Festival, October 2012
• Disability History Month at Bournemouth University, December 2012
• ESRC Festival of Social Science 2013, the Lighthouse, Poole, November 2013
• Bournemouth University Festival of Learning, June, 2014.
A project documentary is available on You Tube:
An 8 minute ‘taster’ is also online:
Poetry book:
A collection of the poetry written by the young people has been published as an interactive PDF (including audio-visuals), available to download for free from:
A copy has also been provided on the USB enclosed in your information pack. Text-only copies are also available.

What Next?
E-learning tool Spring 2015: Funded by Big Lottery, work is now under way to produce an online disability awareness educational tool for use in; schools, colleges and youth groups. The e-learning tool will launch in 2015 and further updates will be posted online:

Public ‘Learning-Event’ – Disability, inclusion and accessibility within the context of ‘emerging adulthood’ July 2015: An interactive and engaging ‘conference’ to identify and raise awareness of the key issues and challenges facing young disabled adults will be co-hosted by a group of young disabled adults working in collaboration with BU students. Attracting both regional and national participants, the event aims to promote a more informed understanding of the aspirations and needs of young disabled people after they leave school. More information will be posted online soon.

What feedback have we received?
“Seen but Seldom Heard was the most inspiring, fulfilling and eye-opening project I have ever been involved in […]” (Project participant)
“…it gave all the students who participated a chance to let out their feelings and say how they really felt, and that’s a really difficult thing to do.” (Project participant)
“Poetry has taught me how to be open and talk about it […] it really helped me deal with what I’ve got.” (Project participant)
“ I don’t class myself as being disabled […] It is my belief that everyone is disabled in one way or another and I try to portray this vision in my poem in a unusual way.” (Project participant)
“It was really refreshing to hear the light-hearted and comical aspects at times. The personalities of the participants shone through.” (Audience member at live performance)
“Poetry can be an excellent way for individuals to express their feelings including frustrations/annoyances along with what makes you happy and excited. Again, this enables you to get to know people as individuals and see beyond disabilities.” (Audience member)
“Absolutely impressive” The credibility of these young people is astonishing and provides a truly valuable insight into the lives of those living with disability.” (Audience member)

To find out more about the project or to offer your feedback, please email or contact us via our website.

Anti-War Songs

December 7, 2014 by richard

‘The Green Fields of France’ or ‘No Mans Land’

by Eric Bogle 6.30 6.46

by The Fureys and Dave Arthur

Well, how’d you do, Private Willie McBride,
D’you mind if I sit down down here by your graveside?
I’ll rest for awhile in the warm summer sun,
Been walking all day, Lord, and I’m nearly done.
I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
When you joined the glorious fallen in 1916,
I hope you died quick and I hope you died “clean,”
Or, Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?
Did they beat the drum slowly, did they sound the fife lowly?
Did the rifles fire o’er ye as they lowered ye down?
Did the bugles sing “The Last Post” in chorus?
Did the pipes play the “Floors’ The Forest”?
And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined?
And, though you died back in 1916,
To that loyal heart are you forever nineteen?
Or are you a stranger, without even a name,
Forever enshrined behind some glass pane,
In an old photograph, torn and tattered and stained,
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?
Well, the sun’s shining down on these green fields of France;
The warm wind blows gently, the red poppies dance.
The trenches have vanished long under the plough;
No gas and no barbed wire, no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard it’s still No Man’s Land;
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man’s blind indifference to his fellow man.
And a whole generation who were butchered and damned.
And I can’t help but wonder now, Willie McBride,
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you “the cause?”
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame,
The killing, the dying, it was all done in vain,
For Willie McBride, it’s all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

by Eric Bogle 8.46

The Dubliners

Now when I was a young man I carried me pack
And I lived the free life of the rover.
From the Murray’s green basin to the dusty outback,
Well, I waltzed my Matilda all over.
Then in 1915, my country said, “Son,
It’s time you stop ramblin’, there’s work to be done.”
So they gave me a tin hat, and they gave me a gun,
And they marched me away to the war.
And the band played “Waltzing Matilda,”
As the ship pulled away from the quay,
And amidst all the cheers, the flag waving, and tears,
We sailed off for Gallipoli.
And how well I remember that terrible day,
How our blood stained the sand and the water;
And of how in that hell that they call Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter.
Johnny Turk, he was waitin’, he primed himself well;
He showered us with bullets, and he rained us with shell —
And in five minutes flat, he’d blown us all to hell,
Nearly blew us right back to Australia.
But the band played “Waltzing Matilda,”
When we stopped to bury our slain,
Well, we buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs,
Then we started all over again.
And those that were left, well, we tried to survive
In that mad world of blood, death and fire.
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
Though around me the corpses piled higher.
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head,
And when I woke up in me hospital bed
And saw what it had done, well, I wished I was dead —
Never knew there was worse things than dying.
For I’ll go no more “Waltzing Matilda,”
All around the green bush far and free —
To hump tents and pegs, a man needs both legs,
No more “Waltzing Matilda” for me.
So they gathered the crippled, the wounded, the maimed,
And they shipped us back home to Australia.
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane,
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla.
And as our ship sailed into Circular Quay,
I looked at the place where me legs used to be,
And thanked Christ there was nobody waiting for me,
To grieve, to mourn and to pity.
But the band played “Waltzing Matilda,”
As they carried us down the gangway,
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared,
Then they turned all their faces away.
And so now every April, I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me.
And I see my old comrades, how proudly they march,
Reviving old dreams of past glory,
And the old men march slowly, all bones stiff and sore,
They’re tired old heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask “What are they marching for?”
And I ask meself the same question.
But the band plays “Waltzing Matilda,”
And the old men still answer the call,
But as year follows year, more old men disappear
Someday, no one will march there at all.
Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda.
Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?
And their ghosts may be heard as they march by the billabong,
Who’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?

“2+2″ with Vietnam Footage

Bob Seger System

Masters of War

by Bob Dylan

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks
You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly
Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain
You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud
You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins
How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do
Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul
And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand o’er your grave
’Til I’m sure that you’re dead
Copyright © 1963 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991 by Special Rider Music

Read more:

Where have All The Flowers Gone

Joan Baez

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls have picked them everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young girls gone?
Gone for husbands everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Where have all the husbands gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the husbands gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the husbands gone?
Gone for soldiers everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Gone to flowers, everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls have picked them everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?


Brothers in Arms

Joan Baez

These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Some day you’ll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you’ll no longer burn
To be brothers in arms
Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I’ve witnessed your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though we were hurt so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms
There’s so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones
Now the sun’s gone to hell
And the moon’s riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it’s written in the starlight
And every line in your palm
We’re fools to make war
On our brothers in arms