Disability Arts & Activism Archive

We’ve had some exciting things underway at Kickstart, and are thrilled to be able to share with you a little bit about what has been happening! It is our great pleasure to introduce you to the “Disability Arts & Activism Archive” project, and the project lead Q. 

Meet Q!

Q [they/it] 
Image Description: Q, a white person with short dirty blonde hair, wearing a black toque, big circular sunglasses, a small dangly mushroom earring, red knit sweater, beige wool vest, and loose blue jeans. On its vest are several pins: one is a 3D-printed shelf mushroom, another says “Dangerous Dyke,” and the third has illustrated fungi and says “Weird But Wonderful”. It’s standing among ferns and bracken, one hand resting on a dead branch, smiling at someone out of frame. 
photo credit: Q’s anonymous partner (does not wish to be named)

Q is a disability justice educator, accessibility & culture consultant, and grassroots death doula on the land of the Pilalt and Ts’elxwéyeqw tribes of the Stó꞉lō Nation. 

​It has worked as an educator and consultant with organizations such as Verses Festival of Words and Vancouver Poetry House, Women Against Violence Against Women, and Pivot Legal Society. It has also spoken at conferences such as the Edmonton Men’s Health Collective and Converge Con, and written for publications such as Briarpatch, ANMLY, and Pride Magazine on queer disabled culture and artist-activist movements.

With an understanding of queercrip culture and community grown from its love of mycology and especially mycelium, Q brings its joy for connection and shared learning to every project and engagement. It also brings a lot of cat and dog fur collected on its clothes from its furry family, and at least one fiber arts project.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The Disability Arts & Activism Archive (DAAA) will trace much-needed disability* movement and arts history across what is colonially called British Columbia. Reflecting on broader movements across “North America” and even globally, how can we better honour work that has been done by marginalized disabled people in an ongoing and accessible** way?

The DAAA will begin with a series of interviews with disabled artists and organizers recounting their experiences and desires: What have they organized for? What have they created in response to? What parts of disability arts and organizing offer us necessary wisdom for the present moment? 

Following these interviews, disabled artists of various disciplines will be engaged for a multi-media interpretation process, which will be unique to each interview and interpreter. An example for inspiration may be crip intimacy & digital detritus, a multi-media interview between Q and Robin Eames for Sydney’s Digital Writers’ Festival 2019 that is linked in this line of text

All of this will culminate in a website on which these interviews and their interpretations are housed alongside an interactive timeline detailing dates in which art was made or communities mobilized. 

The DAAA will hopefully continue to grow and be added to in future further iterations of this first foray. Disability arts and histories have immeasurable value to both our own lives and to the fabric of our society. Whether we are included or excluded from that society, we continue to exist vibrantly, wholly, in the context of the world around us. A lack of documentation is an attempt at erasure—one that will hopefully be less successful with our collective efforts. 

*disability here defined as – Madness, mental illness, chronic illness, chronic pain, neurodivergence, limb and facial difference, physical disability, sensory disability, d/Deaf/hard of hearing; with the understanding that claiming Disabled is complicated for many for community, cultural, or individual reasons. 

**accessible here meaning both where the knowledge is held and how it is presented, ie accessible in time-space and in format-presentation.

Stay tuned to our website, newsletter & social media for more project updates!


About Kickstart Disability Arts

Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture is a Vancouver based arts non-profit that supports and promotes artists who identify as living with disabilities.

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