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Disabled people are not worth the minimum wage. How could I forget?

29 October 2014

Blog Deborah Caulfield

A self portrait of the author with two fingers

A woman’s blog is never done My last posting was a catalogue of horrors, a list of the ways in which the past four years have not been a good time to be a disabled person. Will 2015’s general election bring forth a kinder and more just government? One can only hope. I'm no optimist, yet I heard myself tell a disabled person with learning difficulties today that things can only get better... In my last blog I forgot to mention David Freud, the man in charge of benefit reform....

Buy an invisible person for Halloween!

28 October 2014

Blog Dolly Sen

Screenshot of ebay page selling invisibility

Have an invisible man, woman or dog for Halloween!  Available in small, medium, and large but takes up no room. Very quiet, shy invisible individuals too, you won't hear a peep out of them. This artist needs to make an honest buck! Go to Ebay Or be an disabled person under this current government - invisible surrounded by Tory ghouls and...

What artists do all day: Scribble while the world burns.

27 October 2014

Blog Deborah Caulfield

Page from my journal 10 October 2014

I was growing accustomed to feeling OK about myself, after nearly a lifetime of self-hate, all-purpose anger and general internal mayhem. At last, maybe I CAN be a proper artist, I was thinking. But look what I'm up against: Goodbye social welfare In May 2010 with the arrival of the coalition government, the future for disabled people began to look bleak. The recent past (since 1995) felt like the good old days; the Disability Discrimination Act a fart in the wind. Bit by bit the entire...

To define or not to define: the dirty 'disability' word

27 October 2014

Blog Editorial

photo of three images of the artist throwing an artificial leg at a pyramid of collecting cans

A stimulating discussion unfolded on Dao’s FB group last week in response to the Shape Open Exhibition, which was launched at Shape’s Gallery in Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford last week. The call-out for Shape’s annual Open Exhibition was for the third year opened out to disabled and to non-disabled artists specifically asking for work on the theme of [in]visible. The question posed was whether Shape should be supporting work by artists who didn’t necessarily see...

Turning and overturning

26 October 2014

Blog Allan Sutherland

digital image of a open book pictured against a background of a pile of books

The late Dennis Potter once put forward the idea that each writer has their own field to plough. The nature of that field is determined by who we are - what lives we have lived, what we feel strongly about, what resonates for us. The process of writing is about continuing to find new ways turn that soil over and produce work that is fresh and exciting. For me that territory has long been about disability.  I have wanted to speak out about my own experiences of epilepsy.  I also...

News: Welfare Reform threatens Graeae Theatre Company

16 October 2014

News

News: Welfare Reform threatens Graeae Theatre Company

In the wake of the scandal of Lord Freud's comments about wages for disabled workers Graeae Theatre Company have issued a statement on the realties of the impact of the changes in Access to Work and other disability-related employment policies on the work of the company.

News: Together! 2014 Disability History Month Festival

13 October 2014

News

News: Together! 2014 Disability History Month Festival

Following a busy summer Together! are delighted to announce the programme for the Together! 2014 Disability History Month Festival. Highlights include the festival launch and private view of the Open Exhibition; Krip Hop Nation's workshop and performance; The Hands Project on International Day of Disabled People; the Together! Disability Film Festival and the launch of a poetry anthology and end-of-festival party.

News: Stopgap Dance Company and The Point launch the iF Platform

8 October 2014

News

News: Stopgap Dance Company and The Point launch the iF Platform

The iF Platform (Integrated Fringe) is a unique opportunity for companies and artists producing work with disabled and non disabled artists. It will showcase the best integrated work from the UK at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 23rd – 30th August 2015 to coincide with the British Council Showcase year.

Review: Shape Open 2014: Too Wonderful to be [in]Visible

27 October 2014

Feature

This year's Shape Open exhibition questions how we perceive disability, using painting, audio, textile, and even a mask made of meat to look beyond that which is visible. Currently in its third year, Shape Open is an annual call-out for both disabled and non-disabled artists to submit work of any medium in response to a disability-focused theme - this year, '[in]visible'. Mik Scarlet wheeled his way through the vast Westfield shopping complex to the...

Review: Creative Minds Conference South West

18 October 2014

Feature

In spite of grisly weather, the turn-out for The Creative Minds Conference on 14th October at Bristol’s Harbourside was excellent with nearly 200 delegates arriving for registration. Tanvir Bush was there from the start, soaking up the palpable excitement, energy and general feeling of great warmth and camaraderie amongst the performers and organisers.

Review: The Greatness of ‘Great Britain’ at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

18 October 2014

Feature

Richard Bean’s fast and furious play is an anarchic piece about the press, the police and the political establishment. Star Lucy Punch who plays Paige Britain was recently reported in the Independent to describe the satire as ‘a fond look on tabloid journalism’. For Mik Scarlet it is a laughter-filled satire based on a truth almost too real to be funny.

Storylines: Mapping the past - a Carousel project

1 October 2014

Feature

Storylines is a project which brings the memories and stories of older people with learning difficulties to the public through live events which combine video projection, performance and poetry. The pilot project has been led by young learning disabled artists Becky Bruzas, Jason Eade, Tina Dickinson and Sarah Watson from the Oska Bright steering committee. Review by Alan Morrison

Review: Actors Touring Company [ATC]: Blind Hamlet

15 September 2014

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Produced by Actors Touring Company [ATC] Blind Hamlet is currently doing the rounds on a nationwide tour. Written by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour, best known for his work White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, Colin Hambrook looks at how the author plays with theatrical convention using an exemplary charm and wit to explore metaphors on ‘sight’ and 'truth'

Review: Unlimited 2014: Caroline Bowditch: Falling in Love with Frida

13 September 2014

Feature

Combining monologue and dance, Caroline Bowditch’s Falling in Love with Frida is a passionate reclamation of Frida Kahlo as a disabled artist and a reflection on how we are remembered by others. Victoria Wright reviews a performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the Unlimited Festival.

DaDaFest International 2014: Art of the Lived Experiment, curated by Aaron Williamson

29 October 2014

Feature

Conceived by DaDaFest and delivered in partnership with the Bluecoat, Liverpool, 'Art of the Lived Experiment' runs from 8 November 2014 to 11 January 2015 as part of DaDaFest International 2014. Colin Hambrook interviewed curator Aaron Williamson about the exhibition which contains the work of 28 artists from the UK and abroad, and includes sculpture, film, installation, painting, prints and performance...

The Sound of Disability

21 October 2014

Feature

As part of an Arts Council funded programme of work, Dao is engaging with freelance disabled writers and guest non-disabled writers to commission opinion pieces and interviews, instigating wider debate about music and disabled musicians that creates a greater understanding of where music sits with disability arts. As part of this programme of work Dao has commissioned a young disabled composer Lloyd Coleman to produce a piece of music for the British Paraorchestra 

Opinion: To Wheel Or Not To Wheel? Disabled Characters in Theatre & Television

12 October 2014

Feature

There is still a preponderance for non-disabled actors in theatre and television to 'crip up' for disabled roles. Mik Scarlet looks at the slow emergence of disabled actors within mainstream representation and discusses the question of a disabled actor playing a character who has a different impairment to their own?

Opinion: Dao Writers on Poetry

19 September 2014

Feature

Dao is building a collection of articles about poetry and poets, and within that aim we're looking to feature a disability perspective in one way shape or form. So far we've published an article by Owen Lowery on a selection of war poets; a profile of George MacKay-Brown by Richard Longstaff, personal explorations of the first three collections of Seamus Heaney by Anthony Hurford and an essay analysing Wilfred Owen's anti-war poem...

SenseAbility presentation: Ten Years of Dao: a potted history

17 June 2014

Feature

Dao Editor Colin Hambrook was invited to speak about Disability Arts Online at SenseAbility – an event held at the Pound Arts Centre, Corsham from 10-14 June. The festival, exploring inclusion in the arts and community, was organized by Tanvir Bush in partnership with Bath Spa University. This feature contains a transcript of his presentation

Gallery: Shape Creative Steps: David Hevey documentaries

9 June 2014

Feature

As part of London-based disability arts development agency, Shape's Creative Steps programme, seven disabled creative practitioners participated in a series of fascinating film documentaries. Made by award-winning director, screenwriter and photographer, David Hevey, the purpose of this documentary-series is to act as a calling card  highlighting the talents of the disabled artists that Shape supports - and who in turn, support...

Claire McLaughlin: Remembering Blue

28 September 2014

Feature

Claire McLaughlin shares a selection of poems from her forthcoming poetry collection Remembering Blue, to be published by Survivors Press in autumn 2014. Her work is infused with a sense of the losses and the gains that come with the  experience of impairment.

Poetry: Penny Pepper: Lost in Spaces

19 May 2014

Feature

Penny Pepper is a writer, poet and performer with an extraordinary versatility to her work. Genre-defying and quirky, her work is infused with her passion as a veteran disability arts activist.

Poetry: Julie McNamara: Chaos Calls

17 May 2014

Feature

Julie McNamara has been a tour de force within the field of Disability Arts for more than twenty years. Her current theatre work: Let Me Stay is a recipient of an Unlimited 2014 award, and is currently touring. Julie has also had her poetry published in several anthologies. Below Dao previews a selection from her first collection Chaos Calls, published by Vital Xposure.