a mans face looks directly into the camera
Sheila Hill - Him Photo by; Hugo Glendinning

Unlimited: The Symposium – Choosing a Topic for the Attitude Session

Week three and the focus is all on Attitude as we select the next topic to focus on at the Unlimited: The Symposium, 4 and 5 September 2018 at the Unicorn Theatre, London. Organised to discuss the key issues, challenges and opportunities in and surrounding disability-led arts in the 21st century, and leading into Southbank Centre’s Unlimited Festival (running from 5 to 9 September), the Symposium will be broken down into four sections – ‘Art’, ‘Equality’, ‘Attitude’, and ‘Future’ – and this week we’re asking for your votes on what exactly the ‘Attitude’ section will focus on…

Last week’s vote was for which subject we should tackle in our Equality session, the winner, with 35%, being ‘Intersectional Identities’ – a really interesting topic with many perspectives to explore.

This week, it’s all about ‘Attitude’. As before, we called out for subject suggestions for this session, before collating the most common into four topics for you to now choose from by voting in our Twitter poll below. Do you want to talk about changing pity into a more positive approach? Or about how best to tackle direct discrimination when it comes up? Or about how we can speed up the time its taking for change to happen? Or about the nuances of language?

Have a think, make up your mind and vote! Got an opinion? Want to suggest background reading, artists or projects that fit with any of these topics? Then tell us using the hashtag #unltdsymposium

Attitude (poll opens 19 February and closes 23 February)

  1. How do we move from promoting pity to removing barriers?
    In many places disability is still viewed solely as a medical issue and the so-called ‘solutions’ presented are based on charity, not rights. How do we change this? How can Social Model thinking and approaches, based on barriers removal, replace medical and charity model thinking? Want to talk about this? Then vote for ‘From pity to barriers’         
  1. How do we challenge discrimination in the arts?
    How can we combat poor and unethical practices, such as cultural appropriation of lived experience, ‘cripping up’, and cure narratives across all the arts sectors? What steps can (and should) artists and organisations take when encountering discriminatory practices? Want to talk about this? Then vote for ‘Tackling discrimination’
  1. Why is it taking so long? Can we speed up change? Will we ever get there?
    Despite the many conferences, publications and training sessions on disability equality and the arts, progress is slow. How can disabled artists and allies challenge the status quo, take control and make lasting change happen more quickly? Want to talk about this? Then vote for ‘Why is it taking so long?’
  1. How do we choose which words to use?
    Not all disabled artists use the same terms, and not all those labelled ‘disabled’ by others self-identify that way. How different are the practices described as ‘arts and disability’,’ disability arts’ and ‘inclusive arts’? What role does self-definition play? Want to talk about this? Then vote for ‘Language and labels’     

Please share – we’d love to get as many opinions as we can and really keep the momentum going! Remember, if your topic isn’t the one that wins, that’s ok; we hope to ensure all these topics are discussed over the next couple of years. Don’t forget – if you fancy leading on any of those that don’t make it onto our programme, get in touch!