12 November 2020

DaDaFest, disability and Covid


25 years ago, the Disability Discrimination Act became law in the UK. 

Despite considerable progress since and ongoing lobbying, the disproportionate impact of Covid on disabled people is all the evidence you need of society’s view of where disabled people are in the pecking order. And it isn’t at the top.

Disabled people and disabled led organisations have responded to Covid in ways as diverse as any community has but, at then end of this month, an arts festival will be presenting brand new art which, one way or another, has been hugely affected by the current state of the world.

Liverpool based DaDaFest has been breaking ground as a disability and D/deaf arts organisation since 1984.

For over 35 years, this disabled led organisation has been creating art, challenging attitudes and changing lives. Sounds like a slogan, doesn’t it? Well, it is one, summing up the work that happens throughout the year - artist development programmes (some with Result CIC), residencies, commissions, community engagement and its impact on disabled people, their families and the wider community. And, every two years, an International Festival of D/deaf and Disability Arts, open and accessible to all.

The 2020 festival, Translations, starts on November 27th but, as you might expect, Covid and its disproportionate impact on d/Deaf and disabled people has had a huge effect on both the festival’s content and its form.

So, instead of theatre venues, public spaces, concert halls and galleries, all of DaDaFest International 2020 will be online, free, and available to everyone from the comfort of their own home. And just as Covid has changed the landscape of what a traditional arts festival is, so too has it changed what d/Deaf and disabled artists have got to express and how they are expressing it. In keeping with this year’s theme, they have translated their craft to the digital realm.

Consequently, never has the festival been more intersectional, never so international, with artists such as Alexandrina Hemsley, Tammy Reynolds, the Deaf Explorer collective, Amina Atiq, Ngozi Ugochukwu and more presenting a range of work which takes a sometimes profound, sometimes fun look at issues facing d/Deaf and disabled people. 

And whilst all of the commissioned artists are themselves d/Deaf or disabled, their subject matter takes in dwarfism, body scars, the Yemeni community in Liverpool, queer culture, weasels, a board game and a throwback to 80’s fitness dance videos, albeit with a focus on dancing fro your wheelchair…

The festival ends with a lecture, The Language of Disability, on December 3rd, the International Day of People with Disabilities. Art and discussion have always been a wonderful way to bring isolated people and disparate communities closer together, making DaDaFest International 2020 more relevant than it has ever been.




DaDaFest International 2020: Translations
Friday 27 Novemeber - Thursday 3 December
Find out more here.

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We are Result CIC, a community interest company. We work with people who feel marginalised or excluded to become more confident about their abilities and to fulfill their potential. We also work with Directors, Managers and CEOs who need support to bring about positive change in terms of diversity and inclusion in their organisations. We each have personal experience of the issues affecting the people we work to support, including disability, immigration, mental health and sexuality. We have also worked in senior positions in industry and government.

Our vision is a society where every individual can achieve their potential, feel fulfilled and make a valuable contribution. 

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