MOVING MOUNTAINS (2015)
Three screen video work exploring issues of disability and power made in collaboration with & starring Angela Dawn Wright, Giovanna Maria Casetta, Rowan James, Tonny, and with BSL by Caroline Smith.
Moving Stories: Moving Mountains is a three screen video installation of recent live performance to camera. The work lasts 20 minutes and is shown on a loop.
Moving Mountains makes explicit a public response, both from and on behalf of disabled people, to experiences of prejudice or assault – big or small, subtle or overt – that take place pretty much daily. But this project is not about starting from a place of being victims, and in the words of one participant, “fuck your sympathy”. The work starts with a question: whose responsibility is it to deal with instances of oppression faced by disabled people. Or rather, people who are disabled by a world that ‘others’ their physical or mental realities?
The performers in this project all present here as artists first and foremost, and as ‘disabled artists’ if and when that moniker suits them. During the process of making this work together, I asked each of them to identify a time when they had experienced prejudice or assault. I also asked them not to share those experiences with me, but to utilise them as a vital charge to draw energy from across the rest of the creation period. From there they built manifestos, then body maps, and we distilled those, and a huge amount of shared conversation, into the images presented within this installation.
The framework we created for this project was to facilitate some semblance of meaningful coalition between everyone involved. This meant a rolling series of complex politics and urgent concerns were live throughout, in order to reach some collective understanding. I send enormous gratitude to Angela, Gina, Rowan and Tonny for trusting me and Deveril to bring their contributions and images together in this final work. After all, what’s at stake here, is a shared desire to change the world.
World Premiere: Fri 24 July 2015
Commissioned as part of Moving Stories, a New Wolsey Theatre Agent for Change Project Funded by The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation