FRESH PERSPECTIVES 7: Permission to Stare, Arts and Disability


The newest addition to our Fresh Perpesctives series, 'Permission to Stare', explores the complex nature of how disability is defined in contemporary dance. The publication offers a theoretical essay locating disability in the arts, and a collection of personal letters, presenting complementary approaches to this topic.

Something remarkable is happening in Europe: an increasing number of leading arts organisations host and support the work of disabled artists, and they do so not for moral reasons or legal obligations, but because they realise that the current generation of disabled artists is making some of the most exciting, provocative and boundary-breaking work in Europe.

Disability is a contested concept, and refers to a manifold phenomenon. 'Permission to Stare' explores exactly how this complexity is dealt with in the performing arts field, in particular in contemporary dance. Overall, 'Permission to Stare' provides an overview of the variety of questions and possible approaches to performing arts and disability, and refuses to provide clear answers, rather hoping to trigger the interest of readers new to the topic and to enrich the views of those already informed or involved.

‘Permission to Stare' is curated by Kate Marsh and Jonathan Burrows, two artist-researchers based in the UK. The publication is published by IETM, in partnership with the British Council and their Disability Arts International platform. Marsh and Burrows, have chosen to limit their curatorial work in order to leave as much space as possible to the voice of artists themselves. A number of outstanding disabled artists have accepted to share their views and experiences, through open letters and through online contributions.

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