Autistic Women, Feminism and the Arts

With an increasing number of women discovering that they’re autistic, it’s becoming clear that many of them are emerging or established practitioners in the creative arts, whose success derives from their unique way of thinking. But what are the challenges faced by this group, both from the arts world, and from within the (male-dominated?) autistic community? How does autistic womanhood intersect with other needs and identities? And do traditionally feminist concerns even reflect the concerns of autistic women?

Katherine May is an author of fiction and memoir, and an award-winning blogger. In 2018, she published a novel, The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club, and a memoir, The Electricity of Every Living Thingboth with Trapeze Books. Her previous titles include The 52 Seductions (as Betty Herbert), Burning Out, and Ghosts & Their Uses.

Sonia Boue is an artist who specialises in object work, painting, installation, video and performance in an ongoing postmemory project about the Spanish Civil War – Barcelona in a Bag. Her new project is the Arts Council funded, Museum for Object Research, which includes a professional development initiative for autistic project leadership.

Annette Foster is a queer multidisciplinary performance and live artist, autistic self advocate and PhD researcher at the University of Kent.

Tamsin Parker is an artist and animator who specialises in hand drawn animation, and also animates in Flash and ToonBoom. She was a runner up in the National Autistic Society’s Autism Uncut Awards 2017.