Foto: © Ivan Zamiga
For many young disabled people in Ukraine the reality is that they are faced with not only a lack of opportunities to engage in the performing arts, but they have a lack of opportunity to integrate at all, with other young people in their community. This is why Sylvia Harrison from Roundhouse, has teamed up with Becky Martin from Lyric Hammersmith and the Ukrainian organization Shelter+ for “Better Together,” an integrated arts project that aims to give young disabled people access to the arts. The project under the artistic direction of the Ukrainian wheelchair dancer Ivan Zamiga and Wolfgang Stange, director and principle choreographer of the Amici Dance Theatre Company, is winner of the 2016 kultur-im-dialog.eu+ competition.
2.7 million people (6%) are registered as disabled in Ukraine with many facing difficulties and discrimination. Ten times as many children are in institutional care in Ukraine as in England. Many young people with disabilities in Ukraine face negative attitudes and the assumption that many cultural activities are not for them. The project “Better Together” will center on a week of activities in Krivvy Rih, Ukraine (June 20–26, 2016) that aims to celebrate collaboration and connection between disabled and non-disabled young people.
The project, which launches in Kryviy Rih, will galvanize grass-roots, self-initiated projects aimed at building support systems and campaign movements – most notably established by single mothers of disabled children. Following the project a toolkit will be created around developing integrated arts projects for Ukrainian arts organizations to use.
Since 2008, the Schering Stiftung, in cooperation with MitOst e.V., has invited submissions to its annual “kultur-im-dialog.eu+” (Culture in Dialogue.eu+) competition that aims to promote cultural projects dealing with the individual experiences and national transformation processes in Europe and its neighboring regions. The jury chose the project „Better Together“ out of a multiplicity of applications because of its convincing attempts to achieve equal rights for everyone, its interesting concept to make the invisible visible as well as its strong networking character.
June 20–26, 2016: 1 x week-long project at Shelter+, Ukraine,
35 project participants, 16–25 yrs: 15 disabled and 15 non-disabled, 3 UK artists: 1 disabled, 2 specialists in integrated work, 2 UA artists: 1 disabled and 1 non-disabled
June 25, 2016: 2 x community workshops in boarding schools for disabled children in Kryviy Rih led collaboratively by project participants and artists, 60 participants in each school, all ages
June 26, 2016: 1 x day-long integrated arts festival in Kryviy Rih central park,
public event, participation from disabled community, performances from Ukrainian disabled and non-disabled artists
September 2016: Celebratory dissemination event at Lyric Hammersmith, London
Fall 2016: Celebratory dissemination event at MitOst festival, Tbilisi, Georgia
A project by Roundhouse (UK), Lyric Hammersmith (UK) and Shelter+ (UA) as well as UK and UA NGOs working with disabled young people. The project is winner of the competition kultur-im-dialog.eu+ 2016 – a program of Schering Stiftung and MitOst e.V. – and funded by British Council, Ukraine.
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