How was it for you? #NUNOproject

What NUNO has created – through it’s emphasis on people and relationships – is a warm hug. Soon I will be asking the artists on the Arts Council England (ACE) funded Neither Use Nor Ornament (NUNO) project, how was it for you? I have to do this as part of my evaluation process, but I’mContinue reading “How was it for you? #NUNOproject”

Autism and labelling; outing myself for #NUNOproject

I recognise that in some profound and irreversible way I’ve unmasked myself, and that yet in doing so I’ve hardly faltered, feeling that it is worth it for my community and for the future I want for my children. But it’s not all about altruism and social change.

I’m an autistic person who embraces my disability as identity (not all of us do), and finds the ‘label’ liberating. The more I push through the better my life gets. I only struggle when confronted face to face with people who are patronising, angry, or want to deny my struggles. I chose to paddle away as quickly as possible. I’m too old to spend my time engaged in this kind of nonsense. I’ve spent too much of my life confused and wrong-footed.

Back where I belong: traumatic memory in an art practice.

Working with traumatic memory has consequences, and I’ve often been aware of the need to pace myself over the years. You can’t work close up with this material and not be affected. What I’ve learned in this anniversary year us that it’s incredibly hard when such a tidal wave hits your global network. I finally realised this when a friend sent me a video the other day which I just couldn’t open. Earlier in February I wept at 6am as I logged onto FaceBook with my morning coffee and viewed footage of the countless Republican Spaniards streaming towards the border. That was my family, my dearest ones. I can’t help myself, I scan the screen searching for them. It’s quite terrible. All the footage which emerges has this effect. I relive it, and the deeply painful truths that were hedged as they gave my sister and I golden summers on the beaches of Barcelona

#NUNOproject – a case study in inclusive practice

My story is just one – of exclusion, and of pushing through. Each of the neurodivergent artists on my Arts Council Funded project, Neither Use Nor Ornament, (NUNO) will have their own story. On NUNO we are working to address the impacts of exclusion over a lifetime. It is very deep work indeed, which has required great thought and adaptations along the way.

Fancy a bit of ableism? I know you mean well but…

Yes – it’s happening again. Well-meaning cookie-cutter ableism is at the heart of a theatrical production in the UK once more. We’ve been here before quite recently with Kibo Productions The big Things, in 2018; non-autistics writing plays with autistic characters determining the action, their autism and their characterisations being ‘othered’ right down to the marketing.Continue reading “Fancy a bit of ableism? I know you mean well but…”

Alternative Networking

I’m immensely grateful for the welcome given to neurodivergence at NYFA on this occasion. To reach out to an artist like me, to really listen and go the extra mile by incorporating their learning from me into the fabric of the Q&A feels like a dream. It has been a marvellous end to a truly remarkable year for me.