This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit disabilityarts.online.

Disability Arts Online

> > Richard Downes

I once wrote for life now I write in life. I'm looking forward to developing a blog presence with personality for DAO whilst delivering comment, reviews, photos and views on disability and how it's represented.

Today I Met The B Man at The Festival of the World

1 June 2012

Blog

One of many designers at The Southbank's Festival of the World is Bee Man, not Beaman - Marc Cowan. He is the Bee Man because he likes bees. Well... partially. Not fully. He is the Bee Man bee cause he is involved in the days top story, told by someone else about a bee. The story was related by the Queen Bee. It involved Marc the Bee Man. Once upon a time we all beecame very small and found ourselves stretched out, feeding, cocoon like in a hive. Queen Bee June, the Queen of mid summer,...

Comments: 1

Berghaus. Karrimor. North Face.

18 January 2016

Blog

Berghaus. Karrimor. North Face. A rambling Forecast Lumiere will leave you cold Poor. Variable. There is something special about London's new Lumiere Festival, imported from County Durham. But it’s not in the art work, the reason to be walking. Its elsewhere. London doesn't need Lumiere. It’s always alight anyhow. Road signs, street lights, late revellers and the tat on the local trattoria. But it does need that which is special and this is best seen at Kings Cross. Wide...

Comments: 2

On folkie Spiers & Boden’s and their current Back Yard Tour.

29 May 2013

Blog

I am interested in community gigs and caught up with Spiers & Boden in my own back yard at Cecil Sharpe House in Camden Town - hoping to learn about making connections. 

Spiers and Boden, long established folk duo, founder members of great festival band Bellowhead, are in town. They will play twice today in the same but changing venue of Cecil Sharp House – the home of English folk music. First a ceilidh. Then a concert.
 
The floor is cleared for the dancers. These people...

Comments: 0

Beware Words Written Here

24 January 2013

Blog

Words are mine. I use them. Here in the willy nilly. Spontaneous and free. Careless. Far from frank but mostly honest. Committed to an idea of truth - what ever that might mean. As someone important said its only what you see, how you see it, not how it is. Not how someone else might view it. That will serve as an introduction. Now, two adventures to relay. Wouln't it be great if critics could be embedded into festivals. That's Colin's idea. I think there's some merit in it. I spent hours...

Comments: 0

Cutting up the Lucinda Williams Experience

14 November 2012

Blog

Lucinda Williams performed old songs, new songs, covers, her songs, herstory at the London Jazz Festival in the Royal Festival Hall on 11 November Take the image, steal the vocal, remove the backing band. All that is left are the songs and moments captured from the lives they reflect on. It is the easiest thing to tell you how much the words of Lucinda Williams mean to me, how real they seem, but that just leaves hagiography. So take the lines that spoke loudest to me - the ones that crashed...

Comments: 1

Historical dates

8 October 2012

Blog

UK Disability History Month logo

Tomorrow Tuesday: Nabil Shaban celebrates John Lennon's Birthday on 9th October by launching on Kindle the original first draft and performance draft of his play 'I am the Walrus'. Nabil introduces the event as: "The world believes Mark Chapman killed John Lennon... but Broadmoor psychiatric patient, Charlie Markham, a little man in a wheelchair, knows he, Charlie was the real killer, even though he was Lennon's 'Number One Fan'. These drafts date back to 2001 when Nabil Shaban, disabled...

Comments: 1

The Revolution Starts Here - Just As It Started There Before

18 July 2012

Blog

Can I get something off my chest please. I just don't like the sub heading being used by the Southbank to push Unlimited. I don't like it so much my mind refuses to capture it but I think its; "The Revelation Starts Here...". I don't like it because it sounds a little bit holy moly for my taste. Its biblical man. Anybody else here remember the campaigns against Maurice Cerrulo and the like. Healers. Pah!!! It strikes me as being almost anti disabled people. And this is so...

Comments: 1

What could the Southbank's 'Festival Of the World' be to me and you and us and them?

6 June 2012

Blog

photo of an installation as part of Southbank Centre's Festival of the World. The installation consists of a series of extra large alphabet cubes.

I am here. You are there. Different, diverse, separate, apart. Can I share your world? Can you get into mine? I cannot speak for you. Except for those things we share. I cannot tell you what unless, in making this approach, I give you clues about what things I have myself. Clues. Games. Treasure Hunts. Learning. Sometimes in leaving my world I find other worlds I think I could make my world if I would give it a try. Snowdon. I look at the mountain range through a camera lens. I see it change...

Comments: 4

Write A Poem for Me

31 January 2012

Blog

Richard Downes gives you the opportunity to represent yourselves at a festival, talk about yourself, talk about our people, make a poem by simply adding lines. Are you up for it? Can you do it? Will you do it? According to Jim Morrison, with an echo and a roar, 'Out here in the perimeter we are stoned immaculate'. I am curating a festival starting 1st September and I want to be as inclusive as i can be. So i want you all to put a line down to show what we are, who we are, why we are, whatever...

Comments: 11

Comments

Rich Downes

/
26 January 2012

Kev self organising, self advocating, putting ourselves forward to be counted should always be important whether we are within or without a movement. your point certainly picks up on Deborah's point that to be heard we need to speak and be received appropriately.

Imelda i love your QUIM and will remember it. Its very funny. I only asked one question whilst outside the Lords but carried it and the criticism that was made with me all day. The reply led to the other questions. I did resolve for 2012 to return to questions. I gave them up as irrelevant in 1983 but recognise that if i am to understand i have to ask.

Thanks for the support Bib.

John i didn't see the Francesca Martin interview but others have commented on it and claim to be alarmed and concerned because of how she was treated (is it on you tube?. Was this just another part of what i call the current media conspiracy to attack disabled people. Can we prove there is one?

I like Bob's idea of an organic movement. It chimes with what Kev was saying. I also like common aims, shared agendas, different styles of getting a message over, and think that's why we achieved what we did over 20 years.

I'd like to say Mighty Villa has a point but i'm with Bob as a Baggie but, unlike Bob i'm real black country so who care what the higher strata says.

So..... YES.... continue with our model, build on it, positively promote rights and opposition. Hang the thought that we can't say what is ours and continue asking questions

Add a comment

Please leave your comments. They will display when submitted. DAO encourages critical feedback, but please be considerate. DAO reserves the right to edit or remove comments that don't comply with our editorial policy, which you can find on DAOs 'About' pages.

Your e-mail address will not be revealed to the public.
HTML is forbidden, but line-breaks will be retained.
This can be a URL of an image or a YouTube, MySpaceTV or a Flickr page (we'll handle the media embedding from there!)
This is to prevent automatic submissions.