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Representing disability and development in the global south
  1. Leslie Swartz
  1. Correspondence to Professor Leslie Swartz, Department of Psychology, Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa; lswartz{at}


I reflect on two aesthetics which are at play in the presentation of critical disability and development work in the global south. On the one hand, authors of critical texts commonly use very complex and abstruse language, which may make such texts relatively inaccessible to some disabled people in the global south. On the other hand, the ways in which development work in the south is portrayed sometimes emphasises methods of engagement which may seen to be infantilising. Drawing on my own experience in such engagement activities, I suggest that it is important to understand, and to subvert, dominant forms of representation.

  • disability
  • linguistics
  • medical humanities

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  • Contributors LS was the sole author of this manuscript.

  • Funding This study was funded by National Research Foundation (10.13039/501100001321) and grant number: 85423.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.