British Council - Disability Arts International
Newsletter #3: Unlimited and international collaborations
3 November 2016
Welcome to Disability Arts International, a website and digital newsletter from the British Council.
In this newsletter we look back at the Unlimited festivals and explore a number of other exciting international collaborations.
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The dust may have settled on Unlimited 2016 but the sparkle hasn’t waned. More than 50 performances, exhibitions, talks, workshops and happenings took place across two of the UK’s most prestigious arts venues, catapulting this year’s Unlimited Festivals beyond its own heady heights – it was bigger and bolder than ever. It saw an artist lift off from 20,000 helium balloons, a glitzy musical spectacular about assisted suicide, a dystopian universe of giant mechanical leviathans and ground-breaking international collaborations galore. Disability Arts Online's Joe Turnbull shares his highlights, plus a final reminder of the approaching deadline for next year’s artists’ commissions.
Tate Modern’s Curator of Public programmes, Marcus Dickey Horley explains how thinking around access informed the design of the new Switch House building, shares details of some of the organisation’s regular accessible tours and talks about bringing French artist, Philip Parreno’s current commission, Anywhen to the Turbine Hall. 
Find out more about the Grammy-Nominated musical duo from Mali in this interview ahead of their performance at DaDaFest in Liverpool on 3 December, which will see them share a stage with local Deaf and disabled musicians.

For every Unlimited Festival, British Council brings dozens of delegates from all over the world to witness its grand spectacle for themselves in order to foster new thinking and international collaboration around disability and the arts across the globe. To that end, Disability Arts International decided to get the views of one of the five Canadian delegates on their experience of Unlimited.
Birds of Paradise revisit the character of Caliban from The Tempest to create a new thrilling courtroom drama, which will be live-streamed with linked performances in Hong Kong and Glasgow this weekend, watch here. Disability Arts International spoke to co-Artistic Director Robert Softley Gale about the project, Miranda and Caliban: The Making of a Monster.
Stagetext is a national charity which captions and live subtitles in theatres and cultural venues, enabling access to the arts for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences. Melanie Sharpe, the organisation’s CEO explains the differences between the two and shares some of the exciting recent innovations in the field.
Colin Hambrook, Editor of Disability Arts Online artist curates a list of artists and companies who in the process of developing their work have shifted a few definitions of the possibilities and challenges that art can present.

Learn about relaxed performances and what they can do for audiences in this short video exploring a training project involving Canada's Royal Ontario Museum and the UK's Include Arts. Look out for a more in-depth piece of content looking at relaxed performances coming in 2017.
"The Way You Look (at me) Tonight", Claire Cunningham (Image MJDA Films)
Musing on Culture's Maria Vlachou gives a different take on the Unlimited festivals, posing the question of whether we need festivals solely dedicated to certain groups, such as disabled people. Vlachou argues that the answer lies as much in the audience as it does with the artists.
British Council and IETM call for papers on Arts & Disability
The British Council and IETM (International network for contemporary performing arts) have announced a partnership seeking to explore and celebrate the innovative artistic practice of the current unique generation of disabled artists. IETM is a network of over 500 performing arts organisations and individual members including festivals, companies, producers, theatres, research and resource centres, universities and institutional bodies: a key global network of arts professionals.
Today, IETM and the British Council have announced an open call for papers exploring questions about Arts & Disability, to be presented in a publication curated by artists Kate Marsh and Jonathan Burrows. And, later this week, at IETM’s biannual plenary meeting in Valencia, delegates will discuss how disabled artists are in many ways breaking new artistic ground, in a seminar entitled ‘Other abilities, evolving aesthetics’. An unprecedented number of disabled producers will be in attendance, enabled by Unlimited, and supported by a British Council bursary scheme.
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