As an organization led by artists whose experiences span a spectrum of ability and disability, we often grapple with the pedagogy of inclusion: “Who is including who?” While methods of ‘access’ and ‘inclusion’ are often tacked on after an artwork has been created, Deaf and disabled artists and audiences are often positioned on the periphery. These concerns go to the root of how we create, which is to dismantle systemic barriers that limit the participation of many.
What arises when Deaf, disabled, hearing, and enabled artists collaborate at the ‘inkling’ phase of a creative project and experiment with creative problem solving? Over three iterative phases of research, development and presentation, Inkling sought to answer this question.
This research phase convened a diverse working group of Deaf, disabled, hearing, and enabled artists for two 5-day intensive arts-based research workshops led by specialized knowledge facilitators. Together, artists and facilitators explored, experimented with, and developed best practices and processes in integrated and inclusive creative collaboration. Cahoots Theatre, January & February 2019.
Inkling Incubator Artists Researchers: Anand Rajaram, Graham Banfield, Brennan Roy, Jessica Watkin, kumari giles, Ralitsa Rodrigues, Sage Willow, Thurga Kanagesekarampillai, Steff Juniper, Wy Joung Kou, Alexia Vassos, Caoimbe Whelan, claude Wittman, Hanan Hazime, Natasha Bacchus, Shay Erlich, Shira Spector, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Zita Nyarady.
Inkling Incubator Artist Facilitators: Anna Camilleri, Tristan Whiston, Alex Bulmer, Syrus Marcus Ware, Fides Krucker, Elizabeth Morris, Norma Araiza.
A one-day forum on intersectionality in the arts featuring workshops, panels, performances, installations, and art actions on disability, equity, and collaborative artmaking. Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse, April 27th, 2019.
Inkling Symposium Presenting Artists: Nur Abdulle, Natasha Bacchus, Tamyka Bullen, Alex Bulmer, Shay Erlich, Hanan Hazime, Dominique Ireland, Steff Juniper, Wy Joung Kou, Sage Lovell, Brennan Roy, claude wittmann, Jay Goray, Jessica Watkin.
Originally imagined in February 2020 by a group of new and returning Inkling artists as a festival of new performances and works-in-progress, Inkling Enacted welcomed projects in any discipline with a focus on collaborations among disabled, enabled, Deaf and hearing people at the earliest stages of a creative process. The festival was set in motion with a call for proposals in March 2020 but was unable to take place as planned in-person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, all proposed projects were offered equitable resources, and, throughout the summer, a number of these collaborations went ahead with development work online. What resulted was the Inkling Enacted Project Spotlight Series. This spotlight series highlighted the 8 Inkling Enacted projects over a 4-week period via video highlights, process photos, artist profiles, and artist interviews shared on ReDefine Arts’ social media pages. Online, November - December 2020.
Inkling Enacted Project Credits:
A Creature, Untamed
Created and performed by Steff Juniper, with support from Anthony Abbatangelo (sound), Kumari Giles (production), and Katie Yealland (tech).
The Change Project
Conceived and led by Mark Brose and Tristan R. Whiston, with artists Alex Bulmer, Tamyka Bullen, Gehan Udayanga, Hanan Hazime, Thurga Kanagesekarampillai, Marye Barton, Jane Field, and Anna Camilleri.
The Mermaid Project
Facilitated by Ximena Huixi. Co-created by Wy Joung Kou, Adina Blaine, Aria Evans, Kristine White, Mila Natasha Mendez, Ximena Huizi. ASL Interpretation by Rogue Benjamin.
The Two Natashas
Directed and Edited by Ebony R. Gooden. Acting by Natasha Courage Bacchus and Gaitrie Persaud.
Postcards From My Balcony
Directed by Leah Cherniak, acting by Alex Bulmer, cinematography by Ben Roberts, animation by Cristal Buemi, sound design and original composition by Deanna Choi, and original song by John Millard.
Safe Words (I didn’t say broccoli)
Choreographed and danced by Shay Erlich and Brennan Roy, soundscape by Steff Juniper and Anthony Abbatangelo, production by Kumari Giles.
Directed by Cam Luu with collaborating artist Ganesh Thavarajah.
The Wait of Water
Video poem performance by Anna Camilleri, with devised movement choreography created in collaboration with Trisha Lamie and Gehan Udayanga, and animation scenography created in collaboration with Katie Yealland.