The Climate for Exchange Seminar With Disability Arts Online, Trastad Samlinger and Preus Museum and the National Ballet of Norway.

The wonders of the internet/zoom meant that I was able to further my knowledge of how international exchange can increase access and inclusion.

I’d like to share with you the scribbles I made in my note book.

Trastad Samlinger & Press Museum

Festspillene i Nord-Norge (FiNN), Trastad Samlinger and Preus Museum have collaborated since 2020 on the development of an inclusive photo workshop for young people with different abilities at NUK. With funding from the British Council, Festspillene were given the opportunity to further develop this workshop in 2022 with Disability Arts Online (UK) and the artist Aidan Moesby. Trish Wheatley, Disability Arts Online’s full time CEO, Tine Skjold, the leader of NUK and Aidan Moseby will talk about the experiences from this collaboration. They will each share their reasons to be involved and some key learning and reflect upon that it is ok to get it wrong as it makes us think how we can do it better next time.

They shared beautiful video of the project, and I loved how they explained the legacy of the project too, often community arts projects become a void, where the sparks of community and creativity come together for how ever long the project is funded for 6 weeks, 6 months, a year but it can soon fade. But this project had a lasting impact on all involved. The connections made, work produced, and the lasting impact is then felt and built upon.

Aidan Moseby artist and artist facilitator for the project spoke about inclusion, diversity and accessibility not only from a physical perspective but a caring and thoughtful perspective too, also from the simplistic point of reaching out to people view email and organisations and individuals being open to conversation and collaboration. I loved that way of thinking I often think about the bigger picture first which can feel overwhelming rather than the little steps first, which lead to the bigger picture.

The National Ballet of Norway

Stine Nilsen, Artistic Director of CODA Oslo International dance festival and Georgie Rose, dancer with The National Ballet of Norway, will be in conversation about the creation of the performance ‘un-be-know’ where Georgie was assistant choreographer with UK based choreographer Marc Brew (self-identifying disabled artist). Together they created the piece ‘un-be-known’ for the CODA festival’s 20th Anniversary in 2022, a co-commission by CODA and the Norwegian Opera and Ballet with a cast of nine disabled artists and non-disabled dancers. In this conversation Georgie and Stine will talk about the knowledge exchange happening during the process of auditioning, workshoping and creating the work, and how important the international exchange was for this project. Georgie will also highlight a few practical points about working inclusively in dance for the first time, and Stine will share the thinking behind the choice of artists involved and feedback from the dancers involved.

Ballet dancer and assistant Choreographer Georgie Rose spoke very passionately about her experience working with Marc Brew and the young people who took part in the project. She was so passionate about what she had learnt, and how she overcame challenges, such as helping with memory and how best to support and guide a dancer in the group to remember the routine through story, time/place and emotional connection. Also the physical difference of all wheel chairs how to hold, support, no where the weaknesses and strengthens are within the frame work.

Another aspect of disability to understanding perceptions/ stigmas is to understand the history of disability is different in every country and by international collaborations we can share how thoughts, feelings, knowledge in space that is safe to share and gain knowledge.

I just want to emphasis that last point, now more than ever we, society, individually need to reclaim that word SAFE SPACE…………….and not be afraid to share that we don’t have the answers all the time.

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