How have disabled artists across Europe experienced the pandemic? How have artist networks, collaborations, perspectives and ambitions changed since 2020 when Covid-19 began to circulate around the world?
Our latest film features disabled artists reflecting on the past few years. Queer disabled Polish performer Katarzyna Żeglicka reflects on how lockdowns made it challenging for artists to continue their creative practice, and how many disabled artists had to focus on maintaining their health over their artistic careers. Deaf performer Sofia Zagka from Greece speaks about increasing isolation when opportunities to meet and socialise with others are reduced. Visually impaired German artist Sophia Neises reflects on how reduced travel inadvertently reduced stress caused by navigating crowded transport systems. Italian Deaf artist Diana Anselmo talks about how communication between Deaf and hearing people shut down when masks were broadly used, cutting off the option to lipread, and Italian disabled dancer/choreographer Aristide Rontini explores issues of fragility and vulnerability.
The film features clips of our international artistic laboratories held in Hamburg (Germany), Malmö (Sweden), Maastricht (the Netherlands) and Rovereto (Italy).
A lot more has been shared and written about the unique experiences of disabled artists during the pandemic. We recommend some additional reading to help provide context:
-A manifesto from the UK Disability Arts Alliance, demanding culture build back after Covid, without marginalising disabled people.
-The UK Disability Arts Alliance 2021 Survey and Report on the impact of the pandemic on disabled people and arts and culture organisations.
-An in-depth look at the impact of Covid-19 on disabled musicians.