30 September 2020
Rising Phoenix panel event
To celebrate the launch of the Netflix documentary Rising Phoenix, the British Paralympic Association hosted an online panel event.
The panel consisted Rising Phoenix creator Greg Nugent, Paralympic legend Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, disability influencer Shani Dhanda and was hosted by Nicholas Cheffings, chair of the BPA’s Parallel Club.
Each panellist has a unique connection to ParalympicsGB and therefore brought a different perspective to the panel which generated a hugely engaging conversation.
Led by Nicholas Cheffings, the panel started by discussing key moments of the film and the remarkable reception that there has been for it. The panel gave their own opinions on the film with Tanni crediting its avoidance of ‘inspiration porn’ and instead thought that each story was told with authenticity. The panel then discussed the role of the Paralympics in shifting perceptions of disability and how the movement has grown.
We just need a better representation and an accurate portrayal of disabled people, which we don't have... until I saw myself on TV I hadn't ever seen that represented, ever. You can't be what you can’t see.
The panel went on to discuss how businesses also have a role to play in improving disability representation. Shani commented on the ‘Work with Me’ scheme and the group discussed how the societal changes during COVID-19 have shone a light on disabilities and the workplace in an unprecedented way. The panel closed with an interactive Q&A session from the audience and a message from Greg thanking the ParalympicsGB commercial partners for their support for the movement.
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