Art and Disability aims to support greater access to the arts by disabled people as audiences and as artists. We work with leading Polish institutions to celebrate the unique generation of disabled artists in Poland and the UK, and to support exchange of best practice between arts professionals. It is a major 6-year programme of British Council Poland. We aim to transform the way that disabled people access the arts as artists and arts professionals, and also as audience members and visitors.
The United Kingdom has a long history of making the arts accessible to disabled people, and there is currently a unique generation of world-class disabled artists transforming the arts world. In Poland there is also a rich history of disabled artists, with companies such as Teatr 21 known to audiences around Europe, and the much respected (and much missed) Rafał Urbacki, one of the world’s few disabled choreographers.
Across Europe, disabled artists are transforming different art forms. In Dance, disabled artists are challenging traditional approaches to the body and movement, as well as developing new dance vocabularies. In Theatre, disabled artists are telling new and unheard stories, and communicating these stories in powerful and unexpected ways. In Visual Arts, disabled artists are revealing diverse perspectives and exploring different ways of experiencing the world.
For us, disabled artists are offering some of the biggest creative opportunities of our time.
With Art and Disability British Council has reached out to Polish institutions, artists, media partners and policymakers to build a coalition of organisations interested in this important area of work. Together we can make a significant difference to the cultural opportunities for disabled Polish artists and audiences, as well as introduce Polish examples and best practice to UK organisations.