DaDaFest International 2020: Translations
Alexandrina Hemlsey

DaDaFest International 2020: Translations – online

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

DaDaFest International is a biennial festival that celebrates disability and D/deaf artists. This inspiring and innovative festival began in 2001, while DaDaFest as an organisation has been at the forefront of disability arts for over 35 years. Ordinarily, the festival spills out across the city of Liverpool to deliver an exciting programme of exhibitions, performances, workshops and talks; this year, the festival has adapted its practice to deliver the first-ever digital DaDaFest International.

It seems fitting that the theme for this year’s festival is ‘translations’; the 2020 festival has been ‘translated’ from an in-person festival to a vibrant online celebration of digital work by D/deaf and disabled artists. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, artists have been driven to find new ways to connect with their audiences and online platforms have offered up a fertile space for creative expression and engagement.

A vibrant online celebration of digital work by D/deaf and disabled artists.

The festival will showcase 14 brand-new works by disabled and /or D/deaf artists or disabled-led organisations, on recurring dates throughout the festival, from November 27 until December 13.

We can reveal that the festival will feature four major commissions: Permission to Speak by Deaf Explorer is a new work for camera which examines the way that sign language intersects with social, political and cultural identity; Indonesian artist Hannah Madness and St Helens based Alexis Maxwell will explore the shared narratives of two disabled artists from completely different parts of the world in Celebrating Our Identity.

Spoken word artist Helen Seymour will collaborate with poetry organisation Apples and Snakes for First Do No Harm, a spoken word film exploring the doctor-patient relationship. The final commission, Re:Form by Tammy Reynolds and Natalia Bedkowska will explore dwarf visibility and perception through photos, film and spoken word.

The festival will also offer exciting micro-commissions from Gold Akanbi, Dominic G, Issy Kroese, Chanje Kunda, Julian Gray, Ngozi Ugochukwa, Nicola Smith, and Natalie Amber and Clare McNulty.

The digital element of the festival makes all of the events super accessible this year.

For more exciting news regarding premiere events and exclusive Q&As, be sure to register to receive DaDaFest e-news.

We love that the digital element of the festival makes all of the events super accessible this year. Disabled-led and disability-focused, DaDaFest International 2020 can be enjoyed by absolutely everyone.