Voices from the Field

Background: why ‘Voices from the Field’?

The objective of Voices from the Field is to renegotiate, extend and open up the academic space to alternative knowledges, ways of doing research and modes of expression beyond the traditional structures.

We seek to provide a democratic and safe space that prioritises and communicates the voices and concerns of disabled people, disabled people’s organisations (DPOs), practitioners, activists, families and communities in particular those from the global South. This sustains our continuing efforts at bringing theory and practice together while contributing new, critical understandings on disability and the global South.

Through the new Voices from the Field, we are also set on opening up spaces for debates and new incisive material which not only challenges eurocentric knowledge, but which may be used by activists and others to lobby, influence practice and challenge disablism.

Importantly, we will do this by inviting and hosting material in accessible, open and far reaching formats in particular audio-visual ones, extending beyond the limitations and boundaries of the written word.


Why we are different  

At DGS, we firmly believe that any journal and academic can and should play an instrumental part in the process of redistribution of opportunities and power for people to assess their own situation and to tell their own story. In particular, we are determined to prioritise voices and perspectives from the global South.

We are out to make the most of the potential of participatory digital and audio-visual methodologies to produce rich multimodal and narrative data guided by participant interests and priorities. We are determined to put the methods literally in the hands of global South and other partners, to turn this output into research knowledge and to make it available far and wide, beyond the walls of academia.

These innovative methods afford disabled people, activists and others, the space and opportunity to set their own agenda and share their knowledge and perspectives in whichever format and language they decide- to speak up as citizens on matters and concerns shaping their immediate world and how they (re)act to these.

In response to this, we are actively expanding the Voices from the Field section to take into account innovative methodologies in an effort to renegotiate and push the boundaries of what is considered academic output and how it should be presented.


Material we accept

We encourage submissions from a range of stakeholders, especially from the global South to talk about all aspects of disability in the global South- some ideas around some themes of interest can be found in the DGS homepage www.dgsjournal.org. We are particularly interested in material prioritising the agenda and voices of disabled people and material that is questioning and critical.

Any one submitting material can submit in one of our 3 categories. We encourage contributors to align material with issues addressed in the journal (www.dgsjournal.org) and topics in each special issue (https://dgsjournal.org/special-issues/), but are flexible in the material as well as the methodologies implemented.

  1. Articles

We encourage contributions from practitioners (e.g. field workers, NGOs and international organisations), activists, independent researchers and others working in the field to reflect on and write about their practice, views and perspectives, about areas and issues from the field that may often be neglected in academic circles. Our objective is to provide a critical space and prioritise the voices of practitioners and others in the field (especially those in the global South) . These articles can be written in a format similar to organisational documents, can be less academic and more practice-based, and can also be shorter. We encourage in particular reflective pieces as opposed to articles simply promoting a program.

This material will be reviewed through the normal DGS peer review process, same as with all articles.


2. Written, spoken, played, signed or any other narratives

We accept story submissions in any language and in any format. The editorial team will translate the stories or will develop subtitles. No one will be penalized for grammar and spelling mistakes. The format may vary from story to story, depending on the context. It may involve text, spoken words transcribed or signed, acted, or using any other creative methods to convey the story in an engaging fashion. We accept:

  • written narratives up to 1000 words
  • audio-taped narratives of a maximum duration of 5-7 minutes
  • videotaped, signed, acted or any other narratives not longer than 5-7 minutes


  1. Audio-visual material:

Photos and videos can be submitted in any format. These will be made available only through streaming on the journal website- and not for download:

  • Videos in this section should ideally be short and to the point, around 5-7 minutes, but we do accept longer material within reasonable limits. These films may be either edited or not edited (“first takes”). Please include a short biographical note, an abstract (max.300 words in any language) and a list of (up to 5) keywords (in any language) in the email, providing some basic information about the material including: topic; names of the person who made the film; the location and so on. Please ensure permission is granted to share the videos, respecting people’s desire for anonymity (see section below)
  • Photos or sequences of photos (max.8 per submission). Each photo should be accompanied by a short narrative (max.300 words in any language) telling something meaningful about the photo. Please ensure permission is granted to share the photos, respecting people’s desire for anonymity (se section below)


We do not accept material that is offensive, intrusive, disrespectful, patronising or that victimises disabled people and/or their families and communities. We do not encourage or support images of misery that do not respect people’s dignity.  


Ethical considerations and procedures

At DGS, we are very serious about ethical issues. In no way should disabled people be ever exposed and presented in ways they or their families do not see fit or which may harm them in the present or the future. We want to ensure that everybody submitting to DGS is aware of and has addressed critical issues of confidentiality and potential harm. We therefore expect any person or group sending articles, audio-visual data or any other material for review to reflect on and ensure that the process of data collection and follow-up operate in line with or as closely as possible to the proposed code of ethics. We ask contributors in particular to operate in ways that are contextually and culturally sensitive and responsive.


The process of submission

All material should be submitted via the normal journal route to: editorialdgs@gmail.com. Please follow the instructions for authors. Please ensure that written articles use the correct referencing

Please include: ‘DGS: article submission:Voices’ in your subject line.

For large files, please write to us in advance providing a private link to the file location for download.


The reviewing process

All material submitted will be carefully reviewed and feedback provided to contributors. We endeavour to do this in the shortest time possible. The section “Voices from the field” while working within DGS, has its own editorial team for audio visual material, composed of professionals and artists within and outside academia. These will assist the executive editor in processing the material, editing (if needed) and ensuring all ethical processes are respected throughout. They will also provide critical feedback to contributors including changes that could be made to improve the effectiveness of the message, alignment with the scope of the journal and ethical processes.


Editorial Board

Executive editor for “Voices from the Field”

Joerg Weber (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)


International editorial board:

Paul Bradshaw (Online Journalist, Birmingham City University, UK)

Leon Dash (University of Illinois, USA)

Jens Grossmann (Freelance photographer, Wuppertal, Germany)

Khepera Hatsheptwa (Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Kingston, Jamaica)

Liliane Leroux (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil)

Belinda Mason (Freelance photographer, Sydney, Australia)

Hani Morsi (Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK)

Christiane Noe (CBM, Bensheim/Germany)

Sarah Pink (RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)

Annie Sloman (International development practioner, Timor -Leste)


For more information:

Please contact: editorialdgs@gmail.com