Disabled & Proud Festival: A celebration of our culture, community and solidarity

As a disabled performance artist, it was a privilege to have participated in the second half of the festival in Greenwich Library. The festival was a great platform to showcase my art to the disabled community and for me to be exposed to other disabled artists, of whom I may not have met and experienced their work had it not been for the festival.

Sorena, performing artist

This festival was partly to celebrate Disability History Month ( Disability History Month runs from 22 November to 22 December every year ) and also the UN International Day of Disabled People (3rd December. The theme for this 2019 IDPD is ‘Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda’ ).

The day started at the library with the exhibitions and information stalls, there is much footfall at Woolwich Centre Library on a Saturday afternoon with disabled and non disabled visitors.

The information stalls and exhibitions

In *Neurodiversions* ​Annabel Crowley and Shura Joseph-Gruner present their creative responses to their day-to-day neurodiversions.

Exhibition : Digital Quiltof Disabled Women (pilot by Eleanor Lisney and Natasha Hirst and others) will be presented. This project was one of those joint shortlisted in the Royal Borough of Greenwich bid to be the borough of culture.

This pilot series of photos and videos was organised and co produced with the disabled women featured, by Natasha Hirst and Eleanor Lisney. They were all taken on the same one day at the Jetty cafe, Greenwich Peninsula. The photos were taken to highlight the lives, work and diversity of some disabled women in London, to be a pilot of a Digital Quilt of Disabled women.
Workshops

Workshops lead by Lucy Sheen and Annabel Crowley (drama ), Mx Dennis Queen and Miss Jacqui(music) and Richard Hering and Eleanor Lisney(smartphone video).

Some of the videos are here (captions to follow)

Short abstract of Lucy Sheen’s with Annabel Crowley’s workshop on drama making
Short abstract of Richard Herring’s and Eleanor Lisney’s workshop on smartphone videoing
Performance with workshop participants in the evening
see for the workshop video/version https://youtu.be/9hPfhHeUvzA

More to come soon!

Disabled & Proud Festival Performance Evening 30th Nov

This festival is partly to celebrate Disability History Month ( Disability History Month runs from 22 November to 22 December every year ) and also the UN International Day of Disabled People (3rd December. The theme for this 2019 IDPD is ‘Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda’).

****Access directions and details are here .***

Performances 6pm to 8 pm at Woolwich Central Library, SE18 6HQ

Compere : The lovely Joanna Abeyie

young woman of colour with long brown hair smiling

Joanna  is an award-winning, agenda-setting Diversity champion and recruiter, social campaigner, TV executive, broadcaster and journalist. As a campaigner for diversity within the publishing, TV, Radio, Digital and Creative Industries, Joanna is regularly at the centre of the diversity agenda, leading conversations around inclusion and representation.

~~Drum roll~~~

the Performers

Sorena Francis : Sorena is a performance artist, writer and activist. She engages in activities around disability rights and justice, and ways to shape and improve services for sick and disabled people. She’s is a Thrive London Champion, an initiative that seeks to improve the mental wellbeing of all Londoners.

White seated woman holding a book

Naomi Jacobs : Naomi will be telling a personal story of moments on the margins as an autistic person, reflecting on stories as tools for stepping more boldly into who we are, as activists and as people.

White man, in whirt shirt and dark trousers, dancing to an audience of seated audience

Norman Mine : Norman is a Neapolitan artist based in London who practices is exploring aspects of ordinary personal experiences and how the modern obsession of the self is merging into and shifting between narratives of both fiction and paranoia.

woman bathed in red light, shes knelt with hands folded

Erika Leadbeater : Erika is a multidisciplinary Artist, activist and ambassador of The Survivors Trust. Her work is a sensory celebration of feminist and social issues.

Black woman in a wheelchair

Miss Jacqui : Miss Jacqui is a poet, songwriter, artist and truthteller.

close up black and white photo of a white bearded man

Richard Downes : Richared is a poet and writes for Disability Arts Online. “I always wanted to write. I practiced for years. I played guitar and sang. I took photographs. ”

white person with glasses on wheelchair and with guitar

Dennis Queen : Dennis is a grassroots activist and musician who has been performing in the disabled people’s movement since the turn of the century.

East Asian woman in a white shift. She has concentric circles behind her and the word 'Hiroshima'

Chisato Minamimura : Chisato will be there with her
Scored in Silence – Dance Documentary
Film screening of excerpt from “Scored in Silence” (12 mins) followed by a Q&A from Chisato Minamimura and producer Amy Zamarripa Solis (8 mins)

Eventbrite for evening performances

Exhibitions at the Disabled&Proud Festival

This festival is partly to celebrate Disability History Month ( Disability History Month runs from 22 November to 22 December every year ) and also the UN International Day of Disabled People (3rd December. The theme for this 2019 IDPD is ‘Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda’ ).

30th Nov 2019 Saturday at Woolwich Centre Library.

Exhibitions

In *Neurodiversions* ​Annabel Crowley and Shura Joseph-Gruner present their creative responses to their day-to-day neurodiversions.

standing South East Asian woman is colourful jumber and a squatting man of mixed heritage putting pictures up on a black board.
Annabel and Shura putting some of their pictures up at Woolwich Centre Library

“everyday wandering; going off topic; (de-)stimming; trying to enjoy the ride”
In this joint exhibition, Annabel Crowley and Shura Joseph-Gruner present their creative responses to their day-to-day neurodiversions.
Ask Annabel or Shura if you would like a talking tour of the works! Includes: photography, video and print.
Bios:
Annabel Crowley
is an artist and MA researcher into cultures of neurodivergence at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London (UAL). She has worked in and around disability since 2008, currently as an access and inclusion specialist (+ visiting lecturer) at UAL and a co-director of Culture Access. 
Shura Joseph-Gruner is an artist and teacher whose practice includes photography and curation. He works between the Brit School and UAL, helping to facilitate the creative practices of disabled students from Key Stage 4 to postgraduate studies.

Exhibition : Digital Quiltof Disabled Women (pilot by Eleanor Lisney and Natasha Hirst and others) will be presented. This project is one of those joint shortlisted in the Royal Borough of Greenwich bid to be the borough of culture.

This pilot series of photos and videos was organised and co produced with the disabled women featured, by Natasha Hirst and Eleanor Lisney. They were all taken on the same one day at the Jetty cafe, Greenwich Peninsula.

The photos were taken to highlight the lives, work and diversity of some disabled women in London, to be a pilot of a Digital Quilt of Disabled women.

Videos will be shown at the library.

photo of standing white woman showing photos on a camera to East Asian woman with cap in a wheelchair. She is wearing a red scarf.
Photo of Natasha (with camera) and Eleanor (in wheelchair) by Emma
photos(top to bottom) of Christiane, (white woman smiling with short hair, glasses and a black top), Ciara (white woman with long hair pink top and purple waistcoat), Natasha, (white smailing woman with purple short sleeve top), Joanna, (light skinned smiling black with long brown tinged hair, woman )Emma (smiling white butch woman with glasses and patterned short), Sarifa (smiling Asian Muslim woman in white, head covered) and Eleanor (East Asian woman, smiling with glasses, cap and red scarf, hand on wheelchair controls.)
photos (top to bottom) of Christiane, Ciara, Natasha, Joanna, Emma, Sarifa and Eleanor

Greenwich for an accessible day trip

woman wheelchair user looking at river next to heritage building looking at new buidings across the water
Greenwich along the river

We have many friends who come visit us in Greenwich. Some of these friends are disabled and, quite a few of them, are wheelchair users.

We thought it would be useful to write up some information for visitors – especially those who are here for a day trip to Greenwich.

Arrival

By DLR /Cutty Sark Station Cutty Sark DLR station has step-free access. It is a light metro station on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) Bank-Lewisham Line in Greenwich Town Centre.
By train there is a train service (from London Bridge station). From the station bus 177 will take you into the town centre. However, it is within walking distance but the pavements are not too even with some cobblestones and sometimes blocked by dustbins. The station itself is accessible.
By the underground/North Greenwich station is on the accessible Jubilee Line. From the station, there are many buses, you can take the bus 129 or bus 188 (you can take this bus from Waterloo or Russell Square all the way from London) towards Greenwich centre.
By boat Thames Clippers is another way of getting to Greenwich from the city of London. They are accessible by ramps. (but they are not always easily negotiable. You might require some help.)

the DLR station at Cutty Sark
the DLR station at Cutty Sark

Sites to visit

Greenwich landscape from the Observatory with tall buildings in the back with historical buildings in the foreground
Greenwich landscape from the Observatory with tall buildings in the background and historical buildings in the foreground

These are the sites we would recommend as places not to be missed in a visit to Greenwich:

The National Maritime Museum / Greenwich Park

The National Maritime Museum is a free museum good for the whole family and it has Greenwich Park

The Observatory

The Observatory is worth a walk up even if you dont go in (price £14 – £16}. It has a great view. There are two routes up, a steep path or a more gradual but longer route).

Cutty Sark

Here are some videos we took of the accessibility of the Cutty Sark a few years go.

The open space near the Cutty Sark is usually bustling with stalls, buskers etc and often music to entertain the tourists and residents.

Entrance Prices

The 02 area/ Greenwich Peninsula

The 02 is adjacent to the North Greenwich Tube station. There are also buses (188) connecting to Russell Square and (108) to Stratford International as well as to neighbourhood areas like Woolwich and Lewisham. There is also parking free for those with Blus Badges.

See the Tides Festival if you re coming for that event.

Alongside it the Emirates airline/ cable car .

Accessible toilets

There is an accessible toilet (needs a radar key) by the exit of the N Greenwich station. And at the 02 with the restaurants too, many of them have accessible toilets. And a Changing Places toilet.

portaloo

At the city centre, near the Cutty Sark, there is a portable loo.

All along there are restaurants and pubs, some of which have accessible toilets although it must be said that they are not so easy to locate.

There is another Changing Places toilets at IKEA.

Accessible restarants in Greenwich

At the Tides Festival, Greenwich Peninsula

For part of two last weekends ( 5-7th and 12-14th July) , I happened to be at Greenwich Peninsula when the the official opening was celebrated – of The Tide, “the elevated riverside park on Greenwich Peninsula, reported as created by the co-designers of the High Line in NYC.

The lift from the front next to the 02 is not working as yet so the ramp has to be used for access to the walkway.

While it was well attended, the festival was not over crowded. The festival goers enjoyed the music.

Edited
Part of the musical events

Access

Normally for that area, it is all level access. However, some of the higher cable casings which were used to keep the electricity cables protected were barriers for wheelchair users and those with mobility issues. It is curious that while many of the raised strips were low and accessible, some were not, especially those near the street food stalls.

I will revisit and write more on this area – more events have been announced for the present future.

Hello, Culture Access!

Culture Access was created in our enthusiasm for an access to activities which we roughly categorise under culture – with a small ‘c’ – that which is not sports, campaigning or cuts. We are focusing on disabled access but not exclusively so. We would include financial access -so we would not be featuring the top of the art equipment which many of us cannot afford anyway. We would focus on access to culture not just as consumers but also as practitioners.

So we are excited to tell you that we are considering cuisine/cooking, conservation/gardening, photography, video making, travelling, cultural visits etc

Watch this space, we will keep you posted.

people standing at a museum setting with a wide wooden floor
at Whitney Museum