Sunday, 11 August 2013

Review: Kripple Killer Konspiracy by Ian Pyper

This 40 page book by Ian Pyper is his own unique expression of artistic anger towards the UK government's current ruthless policies towards the disabled,  the mentally ill and the sick and vulnerable.

The book, which utilises beautifully rendered single page drawings with text (which could be described as somewhere between Underground/ alternative comix and Outsider art), comments on the dehumanising nightmare of conservative ideology which is currently molding British society into an increasinly uncaring, profit-driven system. Those clearly unfit for work (kidney dialysis patients, people with severe heart conditions, amputees, those with serious disabilities or the mental age of children, who need almost constant care etc) have been targetted and passed fit by corporate government contractors ATOS, who were awarded the contracts on the understanding that they would reach monthly targets designated by Ian Duncan Smith. People are being forced into the 'choice' of either having their money stopped (or 'sanctioned') indefinately, or of working themselves to death, or of ending up on the streets, or of killing themselves. Over 10,600 of those who were deemed fit for work have died since the governments welfare reforms started (it has been reported by The Independent and Guardian). Many of which were suicides.

The attempted justification of this Draconian policy via contempt-ridden propaganda, unfair assessments and widescale denial, is expressed through Pyper in the book also. As are the intrusive, anxiety enducing, inquisition style nature of the assessments themselves - where peoples' words are often twisted, distorted or ignored so that they don't score enough points to continue receiving benefit, despite their clear need for a safety net.

Ian Pyper's art expresses this victimisation and cruelty very well, which boils down the naked motivations of Ian Duncan Smith and ATOS; and those actual everyday practices and injustices that eye-witness ATOS employees turned whistleblowers-with-a-conscience have been exposing recently.

But that isn't all the book comments on.

The large-scale apathy of the general public, the 'it's not my problem', approach of many in society is also touched upon.

A worrying culture of those who feel no obligation to defend those who are being targetted is emerging, those who would rather bury their heads in the sand, think only of themselves, or blame the victims for their own fate, rather than stand up for their fellow beings. And we all know where that has led to throughout history.

As many artists indulge their own ego-trips and fantasies, chase the easiest route to financial gain, or attempt to escape the harsh realities of contemporary society completely, Pyper feels a responsibility to speak up and speak out, and to my mind, for this he is to be applauded. I felt like he could have gone into more detail about what is going on with these policies in places, but I am told he already is planning a second volume, and this is a great collection of art all in all. You can purchase Kripple Killer Konspiracy here:
I leave you with Pyper's own foreword, which is a very heartfelt and powerful piece of expressive writing in itself:

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