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The Trouble with Charity

  • Free
  • Discussion
  • Speech-to-text
  • Relaxed
People sitting in rows of purple seating in the auditorium at Wellcome Collection, a member of the audience is speaking into a handheld microphone and gesturing with their other hand.
Event at Wellcome Collection, Susan Smart. Source: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

What you'll do

Listen to a panel discussing different perspectives on representations of disabled people. Disabled people are often portrayed as people to pity, as worthy receivers of charity or as brave and heroic, whether that’s surviving everyday life or succeeding in the Paralympics. You’ll hear from speakers who will challenge these views based on research, activism and lived experience. There will then be time for questions and conversation.



Need to know


We’ll be in the Henry Wellcome Auditorium. To get there, take the stairs or the lift down to level −1. The auditorium is fitted with a hearing loop.

Place not guaranteed

Booking a ticket for a free event does not guarantee you a place. You should aim to arrive 15 minutes before the event is scheduled to start to claim your place. If you do not arrive on time, your place may be given to someone on the waiting list.


This event will be live-transcribed, with text displayed on a large screen.

For more information, please visit our Accessibility page. If you have any queries about accessibility, please email us at access@wellcomecollection.org or call 0 2 0. 7 6 1 1. 2 2 2 2

Our event terms and conditions

About your contributors

Black and white headshot of disability studies scholar Miro Griffiths

Miro Griffiths


Dr Miro Griffiths is a teaching fellow in Disability Studies at the University of Leeds and has researched young disabled people’s experiences of the UK Disabled People’s Movement. Griffiths has been involved in disability rights since the age of 14 and has collaborated with various organisations, human rights institutes and government departments on a wide range of issues pertaining to disability politics and social theory.

Photograph of Katharine Quarmby, who is sat in front of a purple background and speaking into a hands-free microphone.

Katharine Quarmby


Katharine Quarmby is an award-winning writer and journalist whose work has been published in the Economist, Guardian, Newsweek, Prospect and on online platforms. She has written three non-fiction books, including ‘Hear My Cry’ (2015) with the British Yemeni ‘honour’ violence survivor Diana Kader, and ’No Place to Call Home: Inside the Real Lives of Gypsies and Travellers’ (2013). In 2012 Katharine was shortlisted for the Paul Foot award for campaigning journalism about violations of disability rights. 

Headshot of Zoe Partington

Zoe Partington


Zoe Partington works as a creative influencer, consultant and trainer for the cultural sector. She provides equality training to museums and galleries, to ensure they meet the needs of disabled visitors. Zoe is also an artist who uses her sight loss to inform her approach.