Who Am I?
Sarah Howard, Londoner, single/available, wheelchair user, cultural addict.
What is my place in life?
To live (not exist), play, challenge, strive, encounter.
The artistic world is my residence and I continually go out of my way to score a piece of the action, but I am a child of the 70’s and hanker for those pre-digital days when people used to communicate in person or ‘gas’ on their families bakelite pea-green phone (yes, we had one. Didn’t we all?). Don’t get me wrong, as a disabled person growing up through the decades, I’m hugely grateful for the modern world’s rapidly adapting technology, but I run predominantly on a lifeblood of basic attributes; talking, listening, sharing.
Like a stick of rock, I have the philosophy of Devoted & Disgruntled (D&D) flowing right through me. Their ideal literally brings together multiple voices, experiences and skills. What’s not to like? The perfect scenario to generate, create and achieve.
Where do I stand in all of this? Well, with my ‘disability hat’ on and being someone who regularly finds working in the arts both challenging and annoyingly frustrating due to a lack of insight into what disabled people can offer and do, I think the methodologies of D&D have much to give and I think it may suit you too.
Yes, the venue will have all the practical bells and whistles that we now should expect from an accessible event, but even more on point, is the opportunity to voice our shared concerns and do something about them. This is your time to air your views on an equal platform, using a fresh, but trialed approach to communication. A welcoming environment of possibility, for you to be yourself, in any shape or form you wish to be. There are no restrictions and no strings attached to a D&D event, just opportunities to initiate your thoughts and ideas with the support and generosity of like-minded others.
Now I know that there is a whole community of disabled and D/deaf artists, directors, writers, producers etc. out there, with a whole lotta things to say and a whole lotta fabulous ideas waiting for some added artistic input, so join us all at D&D13 from 20-22 January at New Diorama Theatre, London NW1 – and let’s take a leap forward and realise some of those goals.