Rethinking Disability

Approximately 10%-15% of the world’s population is estimated to be disabled, and this number is expected to rise in the coming decades. How did disability become a global concern, and how can the concept be understood in a multicultural world? The ERC project Rethinking Disability, led by Doctor Monika Baar, seeks to answer these questions by undertaking the first study of the far-reaching implications of the United Nations International Year of Disabled Persons (IYDP, 1981) across the globe.
Author Hélène Bléhaut leads and follows Monika and her research team with wit and finesse. Maximising the potential of graphic journalism, she will engages you in theories, information and stories that will turn your perception upside down.

Monika Baár (researcher)

Monika Baár is Professor of Central European Studies in the Institute for History at Leiden University. At present, she is principal investigator of the ERC-funded project Rethinking Disability: the Global Impact of the International Year of Disabled Persons (1981) in Historical Perspective. Among Monika’s recent open-access publications is the review essay De-pathologizing Disability: Politics, Culture and Identity Moreover, together with Paul van Trigt (postdoc on the project) she recently contributed to a roundtable organized by the journal Contemporary European History on the repercussions of Brexit from the perspectives of disability (

Hélène Bléhaut (artist)

Hélène works as a freelance illustrator and comics author since her studies at the École Estienne and at the HEAR-Strasbourg (2014). Her work has been published in magazines such as Libération, XXI, Geo Ado, Revue Gros Gris and La Tribune du Jelly Rodger and she regularly collaborates with institutions such as ENS de Lyon. Amongst other personal projects, she develops with the web designer Titouan Mathis a multimedia documentary project on haitian musicians (, for which she went on a three months residency in Haïti in 2017 (with the Institut Français + Région Alsace + Eurométropole support). She also teaches workshops with various audiences in France and abroad, and takes the opportunity to engage collaborations with her fellow artists. In order to nurture her intersectional feminist spirit, she recently started the instagram feed @strongalldaywomen.