Like Everest: defamiliarization and uncanniness in media representations of inaccessibility

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This paper uses phenomenology in order to explore recent representations of inaccessible architectural environment featured on majour Bulgarian television channels. It is argued that by exposing the environmental restrictions faced by disabled people in their everyday activities, Bulgarian media unwittingly engage in an operation described by formalist literary critics as ‘defamiliarization’. As a result, familiar elements of the everyday, lived world are illuminated as strange. In phenomenological terms, this brings about the experience of ‘uncanniness’. The paper concludes by highlighting the transformative potential inherent in this experience, i.e., its power to illuminate as artificial and oppressive the taken-for-granted aspects of the world we inhabit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542–555
Number of pages14
JournalDisability & Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • disability studies
  • accessibility
  • phenomenology
  • Defamiliarization
  • uncanny


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