Welcome to The Disability Issue’s first post offering information about upcoming disability arts-related events and opportunities. I’m the blog writer/editor Joe Stevenson, and I want to point you in the direction of exciting disability-related art forms. Disability arts are still alive, despite the pandemic causing trouble at this moment in time.
This week The Disability Issue is here to give you the chance to glance at six disability arts-related events and opportunities taking place soon. These events and opportunities are available for readers to experience in some way. You might watch it, you might hear it, or you might take part in yourself. There isn’t much physical contact available right now, but people can access discussions about various arts. There are also plenty of chances to get involved in visual art, music, film, performing arts and literature due in the future.
Right now, most people currently speak face-to-face via Zoom. If you need help setting it up, then click here for help via their website. YouTube is also regularly used, along with webpages related to the event or opportunities on offer.
So, let’s get down to business. What’s options have you got available?
Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels
Available until 31 March
What does it involve?
Available via the Finborough Theatre YouTube channel, Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels is a play available for viewing online written by Athena Stevens.
It’s been repurposed for online viewing from the creative team behind Scrounger and marks the first of the Finborough Theatre’s original online content for 2021. Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels explores the issue of implied consent and how it contributes to a culture of complicity and control towards women. At what point does admiration become a form of control? How do we say ‘stop’ when it becomes apparent that we are complicit in hurting other women? If someone you know to be a good person starts to prove themselves otherwise, how do you walk away?
The play has been released by offering 28 shorts every day for viewers to watch on YouTube ever since it was first released 1 February. After now releasing all 28 short episodes, it’s only available until the end of the month.
Currently living in London, critically acclaimed film producer Athena Stevens was born with athetoid cerebral palsy. If you want to see the play while it’s still on offer, head to it here via the Finborough Theatre YouTube channel.
Disability Arts on Lockdown with Robert McRuer
11 pm GMT/ 6 pm EST, 24 March 2021
What does it involve?
If you’re interested in attending a discussion offered by well-educated professionals, then you should consider joining others for an overseas Zoom Meeting named Disability Arts on Lockdown. The Zoom meeting title has a double bearing, as the professional’s discussion will involve two topics taking centre-stage.
Firstly, it refers to how disability and art have both been significantly affected by lockdown. However, when they refer to “on lockdown”, they’re not just speaking about the current trouble we’re experiencing due to the pandemic. 2020 appeared and began to cause problems for practically every person around the world. However, well beforehand, disability and art were not in working order well. Secondly, the Zoom meeting will also discuss how last year led to the production of intriguing disability arts during the pandemic era.
Dr Ricky Varghese is hosting this event. He is the Tanis Doe Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Disability Studies, a school at Ryerson University in Canada. The host will be discussing matters with American theorist Dr Robert McRuer. After doing research, it seems a focus on “queer crip cultural studies and critical theory” labels Dr McRuer’s work. Although this may sound like an unusual and slightly controversial focus point, this event has been approved and advertised on the Disability Arts Online website.
This trans-Atlantic event won’t be for all people, but if disability studies interest you, it’s certainly an option to consider. It sounds like an inviting Zoom meeting I might well view on Wednesday 24 March. You’ll have to wait up later to view, as the chat won’t begin in the UK until 11 pm, but I definitely think it will potentially be a fascinating chat for educated individuals to enjoy. Click here to book tickets to the free event via EventBrite.
Making Work Now
Previous material archived on Wellcome Collection website (one hour in length).
What does it involve?
Although this recording was made back at the end of January, I’d still like to make readers aware of the Making Work Now event Jamie Hale made available. If you’re unaware of it, people still have a chance to view a one-hour event that I would have enjoyed attending if I knew about it at the time.
You can easily watch a recording of this meeting with the poet, writer, researcher Jamie Hale, and five fellow disabled artists. They reflect on their different experiences and practices and ask what it means to be a D/deaf or disabled artist in a pandemic. Although life has been more challenging, disabled artists have been far from lost and inactive recently. They’ve found their way to create in unusual courses, and you can find out more about their lifestyle in more recent times.
The artists talk for 45 minutes, and then there were 15 minutes of questions and answers completed as the event ended on Friday, 29 January. Stagetext provides captions, and Michelle Wood delivers BSL interpretation.
Plus, even if you knew about and viewed the event, don’t forget what else is accessible. CRIPtic curator Jamie Hale has other archived work available on the Wellcome Collection website too. It offers Art, activism and access to others, a series of articles to read and listen to that features all of the artists taking part in the Making Work Now event.
Awkward Bastards at Home
Available via DASH arts website until 31 May
What does it involve?
DASH visual disability arts organisation has a vital message to tell people: The Awkward Bastards are back!
A new project has been launched labelled on DASH as The Awkward Bastards are Home. An excellent name for a collective of excellent artistic presenters, The Awkward Bastards first produced work in 2015. They challenged and explored the concept of diversity, breaking down the barriers between different cultures of thinking. The original conference they exploited was critically acclaimed by many and can still be viewed via the DASH arts YouTube channels if you want to find out more about their previous work.
However, new work is now available to view. The Awkward Bastards have released the second of five films commissioned to reflect life as a disabled artist during the pandemic.
Entitled ‘The Desert Mountains & Dreary Glaciers are My Refuge’, Ashokkumar Mistry tells people about his story of isolation, loss, and formation by his “documentation of this year’s banal oddities including the glacial growth of the hair on my head”.
Head to the DASH arts website for immediate access to the film now. Just ten minutes in length, the film bases itself on a written poem which you can also access. If you’re yet to view it, the first of the five commissioned films, ‘A Rough Guide to Ceilings’ by Lisette Auton, can still be viewed via YouTube as well.
The Digital:Connect Programme’s DIY Music Marketing for Beginners
24 March & 31 March 2021, both 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm
Free, if selected
What does it involve?
Although they originally set up a total of four places, Drake Music has two remaining webinars of the Digital:Connect programme still available. The opportunity to book your place and attend them on 24 and 31 March is still available.
When music appears in disability arts, it needs to be much more appreciated. Are you a musician? Have you previously recorded track? If so, you might want to ask the questions they’ve laid out on their website.
Would you like to learn more about how to promote yourself and your music? Do you want to be part of a Drake Music compilation album? These seem to be their two primary questions. If you answer yes to them both then you should consider getting involved.
Taking the short webinars on will have other benefits as well. These include:
- Understanding of your image/brand as a musician
- Your biography as an artist
- Text to describe your music/sound
- Feedback on your artist profile photo
- Ways to improve your online presence
- A track on Drake Music’s Tracks & Demos Compilation
You’ll be able to learn over two sessions, each one of them lasting for one and a half hours. You’ll have the opportunity to hear what disabled singer/songwriters and musicians say about their lifestyles. If any disabled musician wants to kick start their career, they need to raise their musical profile in the best possible manner. The sessions provided will combine learning with doing. You will be supported to create your biography as an artist or find the words to describe your sound.
There’s admittedly not too much time remaining to take part in this. If it seems suitable for you, then you’ll need to enter data for them to process via the Drake Music website as soon as possible. As an active disability musical arts organisation, it’s essential to interact with them if music means a lot to you.
Worlds Within Worlds: Call Out
Tuesdays and Thursdays,
20 April – 13 May
25 May – 17 June
29 June – 21 July
What is the deadline for applications?
29 March 2021
What does it involve?
DASH is looking for young artists aged between 16-25 to take part in new and free online art courses!
If visual art is something you’re interested in undergoing, then DASH arts could be a valuable place to apply to soon.
What they have on offer looks and sounds highly amusing. The course will include a choice of one of three virtual worlds. You may practise printmaking, illustration, painting, installation, fashion, and performance. It all depends on the unique world in which you decide to explore.
DASH designed these short courses to inspire young disabled artists during these challenging times. An artist-leader leads each class and will guide you through their world of creative practices and art forms. The course also includes a welcome week, where you will meet your peers and work with disability arts leaders. During these first two workshops, you will learn how to create your zine and share your responses to the disability arts movement.
Before the course, there will also be the delivery of a starter kit of art materials in each world. Zoom will host workshops that have a course limit of eight students.
To mark the project’s end, inviting young artists to participate will secure one-off collaborative projects later in the year. DASH arts will showcase these collective artworks in a Worlds Within Worlds virtual exhibition in Autumn 2021.
Does this course sound like something you should pursue? With the application deadline being 29 March, you should once again make sure your schedule is free, so you can get down to business and enter your application as soon as possible.
First of all, head to their website to find out more. It’ll give you information about the steps you need to take to apply.
And that’s a wrap – for now.
Although The Disability Issue will have more events and opportunities to tell you about available soon, don’t forget there will also be the blog’s first one-to-one interview with a disabled artist appearing on Monday. The blog has now given birth to this new two posts per week routine.
Information about an event or opportunity is also advertised daily on The Disability Issue’s Facebook and Instagram page. Keep an eye on what’s posted to pick up any new, interesting disability arts-related content.
Thanks for reading!
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