Alice in Wonderland: The People’s Version

Across spring 2022, we supported My Life My Choice’s Alice in Wonderland: The People’s Version research project.

Alice in Wonderland: The People’s Version involved looking at Lewis Carroll’s depiction of disabled people and examining its effect on those with disabilities and mental health issues.

After discussing the origins of the Alice in Wonderland tale and its connections to disability and heritage, we started the project by looking at Tim Burton’s film adaptation of the book. We considered how the story presented disability and its implications on disabled people.

Then, we discussed more widely how disability is perceived by society and has been through time and thought about how this made us feel.

We felt that characters like the ‘Mad Hatter’ may have helped to create barriers for those with disabilities and mental illnesses, and on the whole we did not feel that ‘Alice in Wonderland’ encouraged positive thinking about or feeling towards those with disabilities or mental health issues. We decided that disability should be presented more positively, and thought on the ways in which we could create positive disabled characters in this project

Inspired by the fantastical element of Lewis Carroll’s story, each young person in the group created a character story, profile, or artwork based on their personal experiences with disability and/or mental illness. The aim was that these characters and stories would celebrate disability.

The project culminated with My Life My Choice’s 2022 Youth Festival, where participants presented their work on the Alice in Wonderland project and spoke on disability and the importance of taking pride in yourself.

Watch the video below to see the behind-the-scenes video created to document this project!