The international work of the company has been developing over many years, with recent visits to Holland to deliver workshops and presentations on our work and methods. Our profile on Disability Arts International can be viewed here.
During the past three years there has been a dramatic increase in the demand from international partners to see work by disabled artists. Much of this is seen as strategic work within countries and cultures looking to advance disability equality and seeing culture as a way to do this. As creators of high quality work we have been ideally placed to capitalise on these opportunities. Working closely with the British Council our two Artistic leaders earned recognition in international circles as speakers and innovators in disability arts. When combined with the impact of the company’s early work we were quickly in demand for overseas touring, mentoring and development.
This led to us creating two new shows overseas Urod: The Last Show (2016) in Siberia at the Skomorokh Puppet Theatre working with the Skomorokh Company and Deaf Theatre Group Indigo – the show is still in the theatre’s repertoire and received a Moscow Golden Mask Theatre Award Nomination – and in Hong Kong and Glasgow a major experimental digital work as part of the Shakespeare Lives Festival Miranda and Caliban: The Making of a Monster (2016). The work in Hong Kong has enabled us to build long-term relationships with Arts for the Disabled Hong Kong, The British Council and Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts.
We also began a long term project developing D/deaf and disabled work in the Netherlands and we also toured Wendy Hoose to Spain in 2016.
The outcome of this overseas work has been a dramatic increase in our reputation in Scotland as exporters of artistically excellent productions. The skills of our directors have been enhanced, the range of artists we could call on is now extended and as an organisation we are left very well equipped to develop other overseas opportunities.