Monday, May 15, 2006

Finn Hellman

My friend Finn Hellman is a gay blind anarchist activist journalist. He was in my brother's year in school, and scarily promising: music, poetry, he did it all, even rode a bike on his home street and orientated himself by clicking his tongue and listening to the echoes. It's a source of considerable pride to me that I was once the one who helped him get on-line.

Finn hasn't followed the standard career for the blind in Sweden, that is, going on disablement pension and vegetating from the day you finish high school. He wrote an award-winning Master's thesis about the Swedish legislation against gay sauna clubs (established in the 80s as a panic reaction to AIDS) and is currently a radio journalist with the Independent Living Institute in Stockholm.

Here's a typically confrontative piece of Finn's recent work: a story in Swedish about how disabled people are portrayed in the news media. We hear for instance of intellectually disabled people who are shown on TV but who aren't identified with name tags or asked any questions like other participants.

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