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> > > DaDaFest International 2014 Announced

DaDaFest is proud to announce its Twelfth Festival, Art of the Lived Experiment, taking place 8 November 2014 – 11 January 2015.

DaDaFest International 2014 presents a breathtaking array of high quality disability and Deaf arts from around the world, which will challenge thinking, ignite debate and celebrate disability culture - with comedy, music, dance, and visual arts - providing excellent entertainment for everyone. Highlights include: a performance by Staff Benda Bilili, a new show by Comedian Laurence Clark and a major new exhibition.

The festival will also include a multi art-form programme telling the story of the radical Liverpool-born slavery opponent Edward Rushton.

This year DaDaFest celebrates its 30th birthday with a brand new ‘thinking and ideas’ strand, including the inaugural DaDaFest International Congress on Disability Culture and Human Rights. DaDaFest is taking a significant  global lead, forging the link between disability arts, social justice and human rights.

Ruth Gould, Artistic Director, says, “With 30 years’ experience working in disability and Deaf arts we continue to pioneer and bring about social change through championing disabled and Deaf artists from across the world. We have provided new platforms and developed both disabled and non-disabled audiences. We want to use this knowledge and experience to inform the national debate on the position of disabled people and the need for continuing social change. The recent cuts in public spending have hit disabled people particularly hard, and while DaDaFest is all about celebrating the talents and achievement of our artists, we continue to actively highlight the need for social inclusion and justice.”

This year’s festival theme, ‘Art of The Lived Experiment’, illustrates this desire for change. Its starting point is the idea that historically experiments were undertaken by a person who considered themselves to be part of the experiment. They didn’t see themselves as separate from the process, and expected to undergo personal change as the result of undertaking the experiment. Whilst this idea has largely been lost in modern ‘objective’ scientific practice, it is very much alive in the arts – where artists immerse themselves in the work, and develop and change with each new piece. Some of the key questions this raises, for both non-disabled and disabled people are: How can imagination and experiment affect the lived experience? How can art challenge the representations of disabled people in society? And lastly, can creativity help build a global identity for disabled people?

Ruth Gould adds:  “There are many ways to change people’s minds, and art is perhaps the most potent. It taps into the imagination, and has the power to take us out of our usual ways of thinking, towards new understandings and perceptions.  Much of DaDaFest’s work is about disclosing both the reality and the possibility, the variances and the commonalities of our experiences. It is a both a challenge and a celebration, and this year the International Congress and Art of the Lived Experiment are at the festival’s heart.”

The exhibition ‘Art of The Lived Experiment’ is based at Liverpool’s Bluecoat and will showcase live performance, sculpture, video, painting, drawing, photography and intriguing historical ephemera.

DaDaFest International, now one of the most impactful festivals of its kind in the world, is both rooted in its Liverpool home and truly international. Over the years it has built excellent relationships with all the major venues and leading institutions in Liverpool, working with performers, volunteers, youth groups and schools from across the city. DaDaFest has also developed an incredible range of connections across the UK, in Africa, Canada, India, the USA and Europe. DaDaFest has supported emerging and established disabled artists, as well as providing a unique platform for work that is a rare treat for audiences in Liverpool and beyond.

Note: The exhibition will take place from 8 November 2014 – 11 January 2015 at the Bluecoat and the main festival programme running from 21 November – 6 December 2014 at venues across Liverpool.
For further info: / Telephone 0151 707 1733