Disabled artists from across the UK are planning a day of action on social media to celebrate the depth and diversity of inclusive & disability art on Wednesday 17 June 2020. It will be led by artists sharing their artwork online (across all art forms), focussed on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, using the hashtags #WeShallNotBeRemoved and #EndAbleism.
The campaign is designed to raise awareness of the magnified inequalities for disabled people working in the creative industries caused by the pandemic, as many disabled artists face long term shielding, loss of income and invisibility in wider society.
Trish Wheatley, Cheif Executive of Disability Arts Online said:
“Disability Arts Online is a proud member of the UK disability arts alliance #WeShallNotBeRemoved. Today, 17 June 2020 we are participating in a social media campaign to support our talented, deaf, neurodivergent and disabled colleagues and friends. The UK has had a thriving disability arts scene spanning over four decades. In the time of this pandemic, the voices of disabled artists need to be heard now more than ever. Over the course of the day, we are sharing original works, opinion pieces, podcasts and information to highlight the breadth and depth of the contribution that disabled artists make to our culture and our understanding of the world.
As we emerge from this crisis, Disability Arts Online will continue to support, campaign and chronicle the work being done to create a fully accessible arts and cultural sector, that recognises, values and appreciates our voices. Disabled artists and disabled-led arts organisations are here to stay and #WeShallNotBeRemoved.”
Musician and campaigner John Kelly said:
“We want to demonstrate solidarity and support for disabled people who are facing a very challenging future because of the pandemic by sharing the rich tapestry of our artworks to raise our voice, of our talent and our resilience”.
The campaign is organised by UK Disability Arts Alliance #WeShallNotBeRemoved. The alliance is a grassroots emergency response led by disabled people for disabled people working across the UK’s creative industries in every capacity and across artforms.
The alliance recently sent an open letter to The Secretary of State for Culture Oliver Dowden and devolved UK culture ministers, from 150 disabled artists and cultural leaders, calling on the government to safeguard and protect the future of disability arts in the UK as a consequence of Covid19 and to ensure the renewal and recovery of the cultural sector offers greater access and representation.
#WeShallNotBeRemoved is a forum to advocate, to campaign and support D/deaf, neurodiverse and disabled creative practitioners and organisations through and after Covid19. The aims of the alliance are:
- To ensure a sustainable future for disability and inclusive arts in the UK through and after the pandemic
- To amplify the voices of D/deaf, neurodiverse and disabled creative practitioners & disability arts organisations at a time of crisis for the arts and for disabled people
Membership of #WeShallNotBeRemoved is free, open to all individual D/deaf, neurodiverse and disabled creative practitioners and disability focused organisations operating in the UK’s creative industries. Within a month of forming the alliance has attracted over 400 members.