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> > > Disabled Avant Garde: Stage Invasion

13 October 2011

By Colin Hambrook

The Disabled Avant Garde have published a four minute film on youtube of their protest at the Liberty Festival on London's South Bank on 19 August 2011.

The film shows Katherine Araniello and Aaron Williamson dressed as death, invading the stages in the Royal Festival Hall and the National Theatre. Their message to the crowds at Liberty was a hilarious provocation. Taking the microphone Katherine admonished the startled audience in the Clore Ballroom to go home. Their banner read 'Disability Art is Dead'.

Taken unawares at the end of a performance by the Rhinestone Rollers in Theatre Square, outside the National Theatre, Mik Scarlett  responds: "Oh my God, it's Death. Were we that bad!"

The protest was a response to the blurring of the political message that Disability Art stands for, in essence; an impromptu demonstration at the watering down of Art that stands up for the rights of disabled people and challenges discrimination within society.

The text at the end of the film reads:
Sick of the ‘balloons and banners’ culture of celebration attached to disability art;
Sick of cheerleading for the Mayor and the Olympics;
Sick of juvenile forms of entertainment like juggling, circus acrobats, kids theatre and rubbish cabaret;
Sick of crowd-pleasing wannabe-ism and stumps-out performing-seals;
Sick of the shameless cronyism of the disability arts funding system;
Sick of the lot of it, those churlish, professional irritants

DISABILITY ART IS DEAD: LONG LIVE DISABILITY ART

Comments

Deborah Caulfield

/
28 October 2011

Precisely! Disability Art, not art for the disabled, or art by the disabled or any other patronising permutation.

Jo

/
27 October 2011

"They're not part of the schedule."

"They're not part of anything." say the People in Charge.

Disabled Avant Garde hit the nail, yet again. Thank you, guys.

Joe McConnell

/
14 October 2011

Well done DAO and Colin for publishing this. It's all very well for people to whitter (twitter?) about it "should now be all about the art" and suchlike. The movement called disability arts was born from a fight for equality. The original thinking behind it is as relevant today as it ever was. Maybe more so. I wasn't on the scene in the days of 'Piss on Pity' but have heard that time remembered with fondness. The revolution is even more unlikely to happen now that everyone is plugged into a fucking i-pod. Too many people seem to have lost the ability to challenge authority. Oh to hear less about 'career development' and 'cultural olympiads' and more about collective action in the ongoing struggle for equality.

Sophie P.

/
13 October 2011

;-) !

Kev Towner

/
13 October 2011

This is brilliant - and I wasn't there!! Boo hoo!!

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