Pronounced IRON as we need to be strong!
We are aware that the term, “Inclusive” means very different things around the world, and in some countries, the term does not yet exist.
IIAN, as a professional network of ASSITEJ, believes work should include artists and audiences, regardless of nationality, cultural identity, ability, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age or religion.
This is what we mean by being inclusive, and we have started with a focus on Disability.
On June 9th and 10th, we held our first zooms for Inclusivity Champions and interested friends all over the world.
Many of these Champions are individuals selected by their National Centres to be a point of contact and information, supporting inclusivity in their countries. They are working with a team of Post Graduate students from Rose Bruford College (UK) to create a global snapshot of inclusive work and practice.
We welcomed over fifty faces on screens, with artists coming from over 30 countries. At this uncertain and charged moment in history, even just saying “hello” was so rewarding. But it also provided a wonderful opportunity to discuss work and to share ideas the Champions recommend IIAN should focus on.
Some of our learning included;
· Many people often feel isolated and lonely, and even more so during this pandemic.
· We need to reach out to old friends and seek out new connections locally and internationally through networking.
· Share world terminology without judgement and use it to inform the creation of a Universal Glossary.
· Share information and knowledge and create a place where everyone can find and make use of it; accessibility is key.
· Make sure all children have opportunity to engage in theatre
· Create a strong international political voice for inclusivity, and not be constantly “swept under the carpet”.
· Strengthen our lobbying and advocacy skills
· Share ideas on fund raising
· Seek out and connect with Academics who have specialist research knowledge of inclusive practice in work for young audiences
· Promote disabled-artist led work
· Explore international opportunities
· And much more….
IIAN will be extending open arms to the other networks of ASSITEJ, and asking for their help;
· ITYARN: a partnership to find Researchers and Academics with a focus on inclusive work and practice for Young Audiences
· WLPG: to construct a global list of disabled writers and plays which tell the stories of disabled people
· Small Size: exploring specialist companies and performances from around the world
· Young Dance: connecting to disabled artists and disability-led companies, and inclusive performances from around the world
· Next Generation: connecting past members to IIAN, and supporting NG to include and support access for disabled artists through the programme
The information collected by the Champions will be formally launched as part of an international training forum, hosted by theatre company Oily Cart (UK) and Rose Bruford College on
August 11th 2.00pm – 3.15pm presentation “World Map of Inclusivity”, short break, then
3.30pm – 5.00pm two live ‘Sensory Theatre’ case studies, with Q&A
Champions and IIAN members most welcome. Zoom link to follow.
Finally – in 2022, IIAN intends to hold our first IIAN International Conference.
Catch the Wave!
Catch the Wave! will take place in Denmark, and be co-hosted by Aprilfestival, ASSITEJ Denmark and Teatre Glad.
Big things are coming and we want you all to join in, so watch this space!
There is much work to be done, but already, as we launch our Champions Project, we have found strength in friendship, and the united belief that this work has never been more important.
We have learnt that none of us is alone, and no one should be left behind.