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The Unlimited Festival blog engages with artists, producers and audience at one of the biggest exposures of Disability Arts ever to happen in London. Coinciding with the Paralympic games, the festival runs from 30 August – 9 September, 2012

Richard Downes on the Unlimited discussion: 'Art On The Edge'

2 September 2012

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black image of an edge with a figure falling

Jo Verrent, Katherine Aroniello, Noemi Lakmaier, Simon McKeown and Janice Parker talked about Art and Artists Pushing Boundaries For me, this panel was not as successful as others I attended. My third of the day... maybe I was too tired. Maybe the panel was mismatched or maybe the chair felt as I did. Regardless it became difficult to say where or what the edge was. Some panelists wouldn't accept there was one, others would say if there is, it's not within me but, the beholder. Maybe...

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Richard Downes on the Unlimited discussion, 'Changing Priorities Ahead'

2 September 2012

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Led by Sarah Pickhall, Clare Cunningham, Marc Brew, Mat Wandsworth and Jon Adams talked about - Disability, Art and Impairments. Some think Disability Arts is not what it was; not because the values we once applied are no longer valid but, because the culture we live in has changed. Disability Arts as was depended on political ideals ensconced in the Social Model and a sense of pride. It helped us to succeed and break down the barriers that excluded us. The change we made stimulated diversity....

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Deborah Caulfield blogs about the talk 'Unlimited and Beyond'

2 September 2012

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A collage of black and white photographs of people in an urban setting

So... what happens after Unlimited, after London 2012? What’s next for disability arts? I’m under-qualified to describe the extent to which Unlimited has provided new audiences for disabled artists, but I imagine it’s unprecedented. The questions are, is this being measured, and can it or should it be repeated? More generally and crucially, what and where to next? Caroline Bowditch has been catapulted onto an international stage and the big time is here to stay as far as...

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Amardeep Sohi blogs about Unlimited Voices: 'Hidden or Hiding'

2 September 2012

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A woman in a white overall appears to be running on 5 legs.

            This session in the Royal Festival Hall was billed as an opportunity to explore the options and consequences for artists with hidden impairments. To disclose, or not to disclose? That was the pivotal question being addressed in the Sunday morning session of Unlimited Voices. Head of Performance at the Southbank Centre, Wendy Martin chaired a panel of artists, made up of Unlimited artists, Bobby Baker, Rachel Gadsden and...

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Deborah Caulfield blogs about Unlimited Voices: 'Hidden or Hiding'

2 September 2012

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A woman in a white overall appears to be running on 5 legs.

            This session in the Royal Festival Hall was billed as an opportunity to explore the options and consequences for artists with hidden impairments.             Artists Bobby Baker, Rachel Gadsden and Sinéad O’Donnell responded to questions put to them by Wendy Green, about coming-out as disabled. Rachel said she was both a working artist and a disabled...

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Nina Muehlemann reviews Mat Fraser's burlesque show 'Criptease'

2 September 2012

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a photograph of performer Mat Fraser dressed in a black leather jacket and thong

The Southbank Centre’s Clore Ballroom is packed, and there is a constant stream of people who still look for a good space, even if it means sitting on the floor. As Mat Fraser enters the stage, singing and dressed in a dandy-esque suit, the Clore Ballroom is instantly transformed into a hip up-market night club, which is quite a feat, considering that the space is mostly populated by playing children during the day, while their mummies are having a cup of coffee. BSL interpreter Jaqui...

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Deborah Caulfield's in-the-moment impression of the Unlimited dicussion 'Just Look What We Started'

2 September 2012

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Loosely painted portrait of Nabil Shaban who set up Graeae Theatre Company

'Just Look What We Started' was the first in a series of discussions on disability, art. labels and life in the Royal Festival Hall. Jude Kelly, artistic director of the Southbank Centre, kicks off with a personal reflection on Unlimited, ‘a triumph for team work.’ She says it has been a joy to see that what has emerged is (with no apology for using this word, although she knows it has been criticised) an extraordinary body of work. I’m thinking: From...

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Richard Downes on the Unlimited discussion: 'Just Look At What We Started'

2 September 2012

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photo of two DAN protestors pictured holding up placards against a blue sky

Jo Verrent, Sarah Scott, Tony Heaton and Jenny Sealey MBE look back - Looking Back at the history of the disability arts movement. The panelists hold a legitimate right to claim to have been involved in the movement since close to its inception. They were in the right place to define what Disability Arts was and what it hoped to be. They achieved this within the environment claiming through Unlimited to have broken the notion of what a Disabled Artist is and by extension changed what...

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Amardeep Sohi reflects on opening Unlimited talk: 'Welcome to Unlimited Voices'

2 September 2012

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Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre, Jude Kelly and Joyce Wilson, Director of Combined Arts and Capital from the Arts Council launched Unlimited Voices by giving an insight into how the festival came to fruition. Jo Verrent, (who will be leading the series of discussions) opened by announcing their desire “to open up to difference.” She invited Jude Kelly and Joyce Wilson to the platform to set out the journey which led to the creation of the ten day festival at the Southbank...

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Rachel Gadsden shares some excitement about the opening of Unlimited

1 September 2012

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photo of four artists from the Bambanini group

It is early Saturday morning, 6am in fact, and I am off out to Unlimited Global Alchemy rehearsals shortly, but before I whizz out of the door I am compelled to write and share the amazing euphoria of last night’s opening of the Unlimited Festival at the South Bank Centre last night. My Khayelitsha Township collaborators, Nondumiso, Thobani and Bongiwe were there to share the moment, Bongiwe has never travelled out of South Africa before and this is just the 2nd time for Thobani who came...

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