Launch of the DaDaFest 2022 international festival in Liverpool

The 2022 DaDaFest international festival has officially kicked off in Liverpool – and the diverse six-week program is now underway.

The festival program provides an inspiring and compelling showcase to celebrate the talents of disabled, deaf and neurodivergent artists and performers.

Organizers were joined on Wednesday evening (October 26) by sponsors, partners and performers at the city’s Unity Theater to open the festival.

DaDaFest International Festival Executive Producers Joe Strickland and Rachel Rogers and Homotopia Festival Director Char Binns officially opened the festival.

Guests were then invited to experience the first live performance of the festival – Trash Salad by Rosa Faye Garland, co-presented by DaDa and Homotopia.

Rosa Faye Garland is a performer, clown and maker trained at the Ecole Philippe Gaulier. Trash Salad, a slapstick adventure that mixes genres using lip-synching, striptease and song, is his first solo comedy that became a cult hit at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

The theme and title for this year’s event is Hybrid – to highlight how the program will be delivered through a mix of live and online events to ensure the festival is accessible to everyone.

DaDaFest International Festival 2022 will run for six weeks until December 3. In addition to online events, live performances will take place at venues in the city center and beyond, including Unity Theatre, Bluecoat, Museum Of Liverpool and St Helens Library.

The first week of festival events and performances all take place live at the Unity Theatre. They will be filmed and available on demand next week. Additionally, the broader online program will also be available on demand until December 18.

The DaDaFest Fall Program features the work of three DaDa Fellows who received DaDa Creative Fellowships to enhance their creative practice, build confidence, and develop skills to drive change for people with disabilities in the arts and our communities. Fellows pictured are Kadisha Kayani, Rhiannon May, and Amina Atiq. This follows the summer presentation of the work in June by Fellow Letty McHugh.

The live program at the Unity Theater continues on Thursday 27 October with 24, 23, 22. This ‘little earthquake’ of a theater performance produced by Nottingham-based theater company Chronic Insanity.

Kadisha Kayani performs Sunshine and Shadows on Friday, October 28. Kadisha is a queer and neurodivergent artist and performer from Liverpool, who focuses on working to stimulate socio-political change in the community. We are in the middle of the Covid and Estelle, 19, feels lonely and thoughtful. When her relationship with her best friends is tested, and in the age of social media, will she feel this way forever, or will she begin to face the fears of her inner child?

On Saturday, October 29, Rhiannon May, actress and creator of deaf theater and textiles, presents Crash Landing: A Theatrical Sensory Experience, which invites its audience to immerse itself in the chaotic world of Planet Zoe.

Founded in 1984, DaDa develops and presents excellent disabled and deaf arts through a multi-arts arts program that includes high quality festivals, interventions and events, fueled by a lifelong program of engaging work. the year with developing and established artists, young people with disabilities, deaf and neurodivergent people, their families and the wider community.

The first DaDaFest International was introduced by DaDa in 2001 as a platform to showcase the work of disabled, deaf and neurodivergent artists.

The festival program includes national collaborations including joint commissions, program sharing and organizational development covering both disabled and non-disabled artists, and local partnerships working collaboratively to increase artistic excellence, support artists established and emerging locals.

Previous festival attendees have included actress and comedian Liz Carr, comedians Laurence Clark and Francesca Martinez, band Amadou & Mariam and musician Dame Evelyn Glennie.

DaDaFest International Festival Executive Producers Joe Strickland and Rachel Rogers said, “We are thrilled to launch DaDaFest International 2022 at Unity Theater with such a dynamic and versatile mix of events over the next six weeks. , burlesque, opera, film, music, photography, poetry and interactive digital artwork by local, national and international artists who all identify as disabled, deaf or neurodivergent.

“In keeping with our festival’s ‘international’ label, every artwork and performance will be available online and on-demand for audiences who cannot be there for the live event. This means whoever you are, wherever you are, or whatever society disables you – you can always attend and feel part of our celebration of all things disability arts.”

The second week of the festival runs online and on-demand until December 18 and features We Ask These Questions of Everybody by Hera; Past Life of Alice Christina-Corrigan; Flight Paths by Extant, the UK’s leading professional performing arts company made up of visually impaired artists and theater practitioners; and MALPER by Rachel Parry. (Full details in Notes to Editors)

Sheilded In The Community is a disability-led project – led by artist Mandy Redvers Rowe – that has collected artistic responses to disability protection in the North West in response to requests from professional artists. The exhibition opens on Wednesday 16 November at the Museum of Liverpool to coincide with the start of Disability History Month.

The Bluecoat will welcome Amina Atiq on Wednesday, November 23. Amina is a Yemini-Scouse poet, award-winning activist, performance artist and creative practitioner, whose previous work for DaDaFest includes Broken Biscuits.

The Edward Rushton Lecture closes the festival on Saturday 3rd December, organized by the Museum Of Liverpool to coincide with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The event is named after blind poet, activist and abolitionist Edward Rushton. The lecture will be given by writer and artist Khairani Barokka, it will be broadcast live and available on demand.

Based in Jakarta, Khairani Barokka is editor-in-chief of Modern Poetry In Translation. Her work has been featured widely internationally and aims to center disability justice as an anti-colonial practice. She is the author-illustrator of Indigenous Species (Tilted Axis); author of Rope; and co-editor of Stairs And Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (both Nine Arches). His latest book, Ultimatum Orangutan, is shortlisted for the Barbellion Prize. Her speech will provide new perspectives on disability and expand knowledge and understanding of the impact of colonialism on communities with disabilities.

DaDaFest International Festival 2022 offers ‘pay what you decide’ pricing with individual event tickets ranging from a suggested general admission of £10 to £8 concessions, £5 half price and free.

There are also week-long tickets costing a suggested general admission of £20/£16 concessions/£10 half-price/free, and festival passes which grant access to events across the six weeks and cost £40/£32/suggested £20. /free.

Darcy J. Skinner