Bridging forward: Accessible Arts Festival

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Inclusive Arts London is a regional collective dedicated to developing opportunities for artists and individuals who identify as deaf, disabled and/or mad.

From June to July,  Inclusive Arts London’s Bridging Forward: Accessibility Arts Festival is bringing exciting works from local, provincial, and national artists to London Ontario. See upcoming program below!

June 8, 7-10 PM: Present Tense: IAL Exhibition Opening

This exhibition features emerging to established contemporary visual and media artists from Southwestern Ontario and beyond, including: Elaine Stewart, Aislinn Thomas, Hailey Doxtater, Jenelle Rouse, Vero Leduc, Sarah L and Judith Purdy. All events are open to the public and presented in accessible locations.

Present Tense: IAL Exhibition Opening with works by:
Elaine Stewart
Aislinn Thomas
Hailey Doxtater
Jenelle Rouse
Vero Leduc
Sarah L
Judith Purdy

Accessibility:

Our exhibition opening is at a wheelchair accessible location with an accessible washroom. An ASL interpreter will be on site. This is a visual art and media art show – there is no audio description for the visual works but the media work has audio description.

For more information: Inclusive Arts London Exhibition Opening on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/2065047030442345/?ti=icl

June 14, 6-9 PM: Defiant Lives Screening and Round Table on Disability Activism

Inclusive Arts London’s Bridging Forward: Accessibility Arts Festival is bringing exciting works from local, provincial, and national artists to London over June and July 2018. For this event we will be screening Defiant Lives, a documentary on disability activism in the US, Britain and Australia. We will follow-up the screening with a round table discussion on disability activism in Canada with leaders from the movement, including Eliza Chandler, Jeff Preston, and Jenelle Rouse. All events are open to the public and presented in accessible locations.
Introduction at 6:15 PM
Screening begins at 6:30 PM (90 minutes)
Round Table from 8:00-9:00 PM

Defiant Lives introduces the world to the most impressive activists you’ve never heard of and tells the story of the rise and fight of the disability rights movement in the United States, Britain and Australia.Featuring exclusive interviews with elders (some now deceased) who’ve led the movement over the past five decades, the film weaves together never-before-seen archival footage with the often-confronting personal stories of disabled men and women as they moved from being warehoused in institutions to fighting for independence and control over their lives. Once freed from their imprisonment, disabled men and women took on the big charities, criticising the use of celebrities to beg on their behalf. They chained themselves to public transport around the world and demanded access “to boldly go where everyone else has gone before”; and they lobbied for support to live ordinary lives in the community with family, lovers and friends.Defiant Lives is a triumphant film full of extraordinary characters who put their lives on the line to create a better and very different world where everyone regardless of impairment is valued and can participate.

About the speakers:

Eliza Chandler is an Assistant Professor in the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University. She is the co-director of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)-funded partnership project, Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life. From 2014-2016, she was the Artistic Director of Tangled Art + Disability, an organization in Toronto dedicated to cultivating disability art, and co-founder of Tangled Art Gallery, a gallery which showcases disability arts and advances accessible curatorial practices. Chandler regularly give lectures, interviews, and consultations related to disability arts, accessible curatorial practices, and disability politics in Canada.

Jeff Preston, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Disability Studies at King’s University College at Western University where he teaches classes on disability, popular culture and policy. A long-time advocate and motivational speaker, Jeff’s work focuses on the intersection of disability, subjectivity, biopower and culture. Jeff’s first book, The Fantasy of Disability, was published in 2016 by Routledge.

Jenelle Rouse is a passionate person living her dream of being a kindergarten teacher and currently a PhD candidate. She is a self-taught Deaf artist in body movements and dance. While actively involved in Picasso Pro since 2006, Jenelle has been performed live performing artworks since 2010: “Talking Movement” (as a performing dancer); “Withered Tree” (as a choreographer and performing dancer); and “Perceptions II” (as a choreographer and performing dancer). She also performed a short dance film, “Perceptions” (2015). Jenelle has been recently involved with Bodies in Translation, London Arts Council’s Crossings, Tangled Art + Disability London and Centre[3]. Ultimately, she has continued her passion in dancing and performing since then.

About the filmmakers:

Sarah Barton is a filmmaker with more than 20 years’ experience and has focused mainly on making films about disability. Her first major film Untold Desires (1994) about sexuality and disability won the first Logie Award for SBS television and an AFI Award for most outstanding documentary. In 2003 Sarah created and produced the first 70 episodes of the award winning disability community television series No Limits. During her time as series producer of No Limits Sarah mentored and trained a number of disabled performers including the late comedian and writer Stella Young.Sarah’s short documentary Stroke A Chord (2012) about a choir of stroke survivors who can sing but not speak was a finalist in the ATOM Awards in 2013. Between 2011 and 2015 Sarah worked as Chief Executive Officer of Disability Media Australia an organisation she co-founded in 2005. She also returned to No Limits in the role of Executive Producer mentoring and training disabled producers, cast and crew. In 2015 Sarah returned to her production company Fertile Films to complete Defiant Lives and recently launched an online video distribution platform called DisabilityBusters.com. In 2010 Sarah received a Churchill Fellowship to travel to America and England to research a feature documentary about the disability rights movement. Screen Australia subsequently supported the project in 2015 and the film Defiant Lives is due for release in 2017.

Liz Burke is an independent producer specializing in compelling, stylish and often political television and feature documentaries. Documentaries include, ‘Yuletide (2000) SBS, ‘Just Punishment’ (2006) ABC, ‘The First Wave’ (2008), ‘Missing in the Land of Gods (2012) and ‘Helen Garner’s Monkey Grip’ ABC (2014) Her films have won AFI and ATOM Awards. ‘Missing in the Land of Gods’ was nominated for Best Feature Documentary IDFA 2012, FOXTEL Best Australian Documentary, Sydney Film Festival 2012 and has been screened at many international and national film festivals. Life’. Liz’s most recent documentary is ‘Defiant Lives’ which tells the story of the rise of disability activism in Australia, UK and USA. Liz also teaches into the BA of Film and Animation at Swinburne University of Technology. She is currently enrolled in a PhD at the University of Canberra researching the affordances of the trans-media documentary.

The work is closed captioned but is not audio described. An ASL interpreter will be there for the round table. This is at an accessible location with an accessible washroom.

For more information: Defiant Lives Screening and Disability Activism Round Table on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1836098233363699/?ti=icl

June 15, 7-9 PM: Chronic: Films by Jennifer Reeves

Hosted in conjunction with Inclusive Arts London, London Ontario Media Arts Association (LOMAA) presents a selection of 16mm films by New York-based artist Jennifer Reeves. Featured is her 1996 film, CHRONIC, an elegiac and transcendent portrait confronting disorder, trauma, tragedy and loss. Both honest and unflinching, this semi-autobiographical portrayal of a young woman’s struggles and experiences with severe mental health issues is conveyed through an impressionistic style, collaging dream and memory while offering a profound message of resilience and catharsis through artistic expression. Accompanying the film are two other shorts by Reeves, exploring themes of queerness, longing and identity.
Admission by donation; $5 suggested, no one turned away.

Total duration: 63 minutes

Content warning: this film may be difficult and/or triggering for some audiences; subjects include trauma, self-harm and suicide.

Programme:

Monsters in the Closet
1993, 16mm, 15 minutes

Dirty little girl stories, girl gangs, and other tales from the closets of adolescence. (J.R.)

Chronic
1996, 16mm, 38 minutes

CHRONIC is an experimental narrative about a young woman who began mutilating herself as a girl to cope with a traumatic mid-western childhood. The lush optically-printed scenes take Gretchen’s point of view from her punk youth, a stay in a mental hospital, and her release into the big city. Scripted scenes are inter-spliced with documentary and found footage, illustrating the culture Gretchen lives in, her inner world and relationships from her birth to her final day. (J.R.)

We Are Going Home
1998, 16mm, 10 minutes

Solarized, tinted, and optically-printed, this is a surreal portrait of desire, ghosts and pursuit of the sensual. Rhythmic color shifts in the emulsion bring life to the rural landscape, which seems to embody the terrain of the subconscious. Three women seek pleasure and the beyond in parallel universes, which never quite intersect. When one finds another, she is either buried in the sand or asleep under a tree.

WE ARE GOING HOME was shot at Philip Hoffman’s film retreat in rural Ontario. The film was made in the memory of Marian McMahon, an experimental filmmaker who died of cancer in the fall of 1996. (J.R.)

About the filmmaker:
Jennifer Reeves (b. 1971, Sri Lanka) is a New York-based filmmaker working primarily on 16mm film. Her work has shown around the globe from microcinemas in the US to the Berlin, New York, London, Sundance, and Hong Kong Film Festivals, the Robert Flaherty Seminar, the Museum of Modern Art, and at various universities and arthouse cinemas in the US, Canada, and Europe. She has had multiple-program retrospectives at the San Francisco Cinematheque, Kino Arsenal in Berlin, Anthology Film Archives, the London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in the UK and a major 10-screening retrospective at the Era New Horizons Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland in 2009.

Reeves has made 20+ film-based works dating back to 1990. Since 2003, she has collaborated with numerous composers, including Marc Ribot, Ikue Mori, Skúli Sverrisson, Elliott Sharp, Zeena Parkins, Anthony Burr and Eyvind Kang for a series of live multiple projection performances that have toured internationally.

She does her own writing, cinematography, editing, and sound design. Her subjective and personal films push the boundaries of the medium through optical-printing and direct-on-film techniques including hand-painting film frames. Reeves has explored themes of memory, mental health and recovery, feminism, sexuality, landscape, music, and politics in her films.

Reeves also teaches film part-time at The Cooper Union in NYC.

www.jenniferreevesfilm.com

Our last event is a 16mm screening (FB below) of a few short films addressing mental health. These are archival prints and sadly aren’t audio described or closed captioned. This is at an accessible location with an accessible washroom.

For more information: Chronic: Films by Jennifer Reeves on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/932551706923989/

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