Welcome back to The Disability Issue’s weekly upcoming events and opportunities post. I’m happy the blog has moved into another month to provide exciting disability arts to others. The pandemic rules have been reduced only a little – but, still, it’s something to feel positive about.
I know only a little more interaction is now allowed, and many disabled people are indeed still shielding. But now, some disabled people are free to move away from their homes more than once per day and meet in groups of up to six people too. We can only hope that the people in our country stay sensible enough as the year progresses.
Eventually, it should mean disabled people can meet up to make arts together more easily as well. However, don’t forget, disability arts are still alive, despite the pandemic that’s causing us trouble.
Once again, the listed events and opportunities are available for readers to experience in some way. You might watch them, you might hear them, or you might get involved with them yourself. People can access discussions about various disability arts online. There are also plenty of ways to get involved in viewing, hearing or expressing visual art, music, film, performing arts and literature due in the future.
If real-time interaction is needed, most people currently speak face-to-face via Zoom. If you need help setting up Zoom, then click here for help via their website. YouTube is also regularly used to show videos, and webpages often give plenty of information about the event or opportunity too.
So, let’s get down to business. What options are available?
Corali Dance Company presents Open Dance Class
7 April 2021
10:30 – 11:30 am.
What does it involve?
Although I won’t be able to take part in this opportunity myself, I very much appreciate the opportunity that this company is offering more specifically disabled individuals. Corali is a leader in dance created by artists with a learning disability. If they’re interested, people with learning disabilities can participate in an open dance class, with no previous experience needed.
When dancing, I always feel I have given myself the opportunity to roam free with music, celebrating the sounds that I hear in depth. When the pandemic is over, I definitely look forward to occasionally getting on the dance floor with friends. Available for 18+ adults, I’d definitely ask any adult you know who has a learning disability if they’re interested in taking part.
To attend, you must fill in a short form. You can find out more about the open dance class on Corali Dance Company’s website. If you need help filling in the forms, staff at Caroli will be happy to provide you with assistance.
‘It’s Personal’ – Kyla Harris and Lou MacNamara’s Artists Film
25 February 2021 – 24 May 2021
What does it involve?
Kyla Harris is a disabled artist and writer who needs 24-hour assistance from her personal assistant. She doesn’t enjoy being a boss, but as a wheelchair user she needs someone nearby to take care of her personal tasks within the day; everything from urinating in the morning to making her artwork itself. She receives funding from the NHS and the Government to pay for this, but with Coronavirus changing her activities as an artist, she has been forced into shielding over the past 12 months or so.
In particular, Kamala and her friend Lou MacNamara have missed spending time together. Lou works primarily as a camera person, and after a suggestion by Kyla, agreed to try and learn what needs to be done to become her PA over a seven-day period.
Using a camera is a lot easier for Lou right now, and after spending time filming in the past with Kyla, the two of them decided to film Lou’s attempts to try to become a satisfying personal assistant.
I have to say, I think this is an interesting reality-TV documentary for people to watch. You can learn a lot about how people like Kyla manage to make their way in life. It could make you feel more secure spending time with people who are physically disabled in the future too.
Free to watch, the documentary lasts around half an hour, and includes closed caption subtitles and audio-description as well. You can watch it now via FVU.
Unfolding Shrines: Shape Art’s New Application with Four Augmented Realities
What does it involve?
Shape Arts have seemed quiet recently, but I expect they’ve been busier than it seems behind the scenes. They’ve just announced the production of a new, free mobile phone application for people to use who want to get a glance at some new material. The idea behind it is to enter four augmented realities in a virtual environment – designed by four artists and produced by Shape Arts.
The application is one you’ll want to try out, but personally, I recommend heading out during the day into an open area with plenty of space around you to move before you start using it. Let your camera scan the ground to begin with, before lifting it and looking your sides. You will see artwork on your mobile phone’s screen, with plenty of exhibition space to virtually explore.
Interestingly, the best area I live near and where I can view the artwork happens to be Whitworth Park. I had the opportunity to view an exhibition that was so close to Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. If you’re unable to head to a park right now, then you’ll want to wander around your garden or a very large, open room when using the application instead.
There is plenty of fascinating visual artwork on show. The exhibition features the work of artists Jason Wilsher-Mills, Sophie Helf, Rebekah Ubuntu, and Uma Breakdown. It was developed and designed in collaboration with Hot Knife Digital Media.
Unfolding Shrines is part of the Adam Reynolds Award programme, Shape Arts’ Flagship award established in 2008 in memory of the life and work of the sculptor Adam Reynolds.
You can also watch a video with the exhibition on show if you wish to via YouTube. If you’re looking to download it to your mobile, simply search for Unfolding Shrines in your Mobile’s App Store.
#WeShallNotBeRemoved’s Coffee Table Catch-up
Thursday, 8 April 2021
What does it involve?
Are you a a member of the UK’s Disability Arts Alliance? Then a coffee break with fellow members of #WeShallNotBeRemoved might be just the thing for you. Over 700 disabled artists or disability arts organisation representatives joined last year.
But think about it. Are you a disabled person who has only been slightly creative?
Perhaps you’ve written a few poems in the past that seemed to be enjoyed by others, or can play guitar and have songs you play to yourself every now and then too. If so, you’re like me – I guess those have been my more artistic traits. I’m not much of a visual artist though, and there’s a chance you might have enjoyed publishing photographs people praise on Instagram, or you occasionally like to design portraits of your favourite celebrities in your spare time.
If you’re creative, then you should join #WeShallNotBeRemoved. The UK’s Disability Arts Alliance has gained a great deal of strength. However, the more people who join, the better it gets for everybody. Don’t be shy, because we will only gain strength via collaboration. .
Those who are part of the organisation can join up for a friendly Zoom meeting named #WeShallNotBeRemoved’s Coffee Table Catch-up, that occurs on a monthly basis. Find out what’s been happening recently, and learn more about how the UK’s Disability Arts Alliance is planning to interact with the world in the future too.
Let’s Be Creative
I’m sorry there’s not as many events and opportunities to look at this week! I’m sure there are more that will appear in the future. However, one thing to mention now is that the UK Disability Arts Alliance #WeShallNotBeRemoved is also looking to raise awareness of the issues that will arise if we don’t take some of action with the disability arts we create. Disability arts has its powers, and right now one more problem is due to arrive because of the pandemic’s structure.
The Government is talking a lot about the need for a Vaccine Passport for people to obtain in order to precede with enjoying the highlights of life. However, we need to gain their attention, because disabled people have been ignored much too often in the past. Getting the vaccine isn’t a healthy option for all of us to take on board. They therefore need to recognise this and grant us with the freedom that non-disabled people will easily obtain.
The pandemic has proven how corrupt people can be towards disabled people. We’ve been offended by the actions of others on multiple occasions over the past 12 months, and a lot of disabled people had to wait longer than was officially declared by the NHS and the Government to receive their vaccination. At the start of last month, I had to ring up the NHS to arrange my appointment, and I know I’m not alone.
So, right now, we need to make the Government aware of our needs, and as they’ve stated on their website, this is one campaign the UK’s Disability Arts Alliance is taking on board soon. Disability arts has a power to get people’s attention if we use it wisely. #WeShallNotBeRemoved also make a great team, and I will be happy to spread word of its importance on my blog whenever needed in the future.
But on a More Positive Note…
On Tuesday next week, my blog readers will be able to read an interview with disabled musical artist Ben Lunn. Currently living in Glasgow, the critically-acclaimed composer has won various awards for his compositions and other creative talents in Scotland.
Ben’s also an associate artist at Drake Music, and you’ll learn more about his musical background and how he’s found life as a composer and guest teacher during the pandemic era. It was great talking to him, and I hope you enjoy learning more about his lifestyle in the interview too.
Thanks for reading this, and I hope you read again soon. Take care.