Wednesday, 26 October 2016
Many thanks to all the speakers and participants who made our workshop on Audio Description on October 21st, 2016, such a success! We are confident that many conversations and collaborations will continue. In the meantime, thanks to our sponsors Royal Holloway, podcasts of all the day's talks (and a few described photographs) are available here.
Sunday, 3 July 2016
Video recordings of all the papers at the Jacques Lusseyran Colloquium which was held in Pairs on June 28 2016 can now be accessed by following this link.
Wednesday, 22 June 2016
Revue canadienne des études sur l’incapacité
Appel à collaboration : « Cécités et créations ». Numéro spécial de la Revue canadienne des études sur l’incapacité axé sur les rapports entre la cécité et la création.
En juin 2015, le colloque international « Blind Creations » a abordé de façon interdisciplinaire, la manière dont la cécité et la création se nourrissent et s’entrecroisent. Ce colloque, dont les « actes » audio sont disponibles ici a suscité maintes discussions entre artistes, écrivains, universitaires et militants. Suite à cet évènement hors du commun, ce numéro spécial a pour but de continuer l’exploration des rapports qui existeraient entre les personnes en situation de cécité et la création artistique (écriture, art, musique, danse, cinéma, photographie). Nous définissons « personne en situation de cécité » de façon large : c’est-à-dire toute personne qui est ou se définit comme ayant des rapports singuliers à la vision ou à la vue. Nous tenons à ce que la cécité soit explorée, voire célébrée en tant que force inventive, créatrice et innovatrice, force qui aurait le pouvoir de transformer les rapports que toute personne voyante ou non-voyante, aurait à la production, la diffusion et la consommation de la culture au sens large.
Aussi sollicitons-nous des articles, des témoignages, des études de cas ou des réactions créatrices par des personnes voyantes ou non-voyantes, avec ou sans affiliation institutionnelle qui portent sur les sujets suivants, mais qui ne s’y limitent pas obligatoirement :
ü L’audio description : enjeu artistique ou service de base ?
ü Lire sans voir de façon créatrice : le Braille, les livres parlés
ü L’attirail de la cécité : (cannes, lunettes, chiens etc.) : aides pratiques ou objets d’art ?
ü Comment représenter la cécité dans les arts ? Quels en sont les enjeux et les possibilités ?
ü Existe-t-il une ‘Culture de la Cécité’ ? Faut-il en inventer une ? Comment la conserver ou la promouvoir ?
ü Faut-il créer une nouvelle histoire de la cécité ? En quoi consisterait-elle ?
ü Quel a été le rôle des organismes communautaires de services ou de défense des droits dans la conception et l’expérience de la cécité ainsi que de ses conséquences socio-culturelles,
ü Quel a été le rôle des services publics – musées, établissements scolaires, hôpitaux, centres de réadaptation, universités, gouvernements – dans notre conception de la cécité ?
Les propositions d’articles (250-300 mots en français), comportant nom, prénom, affiliation(s) institutionnelle(s) et coordonnées électroniques des auteurs, sont à envoyer au plus tard le 15 sept 2016 aux adresses suivantes : Maria Fernanda Arentsen et à Hannah Thompson. Tous les articles seront soumis à un processus de lecture et d’évaluation anonyme.
Principales échéances :
- 15 sept 2016 : date limite pour la réception des propositions d’articles.
- 15 déc. 2016 : notification de la liste des propositions acceptées.
- 15 juin 2017 : date limite pour la réception des articles. Les articles devront compter entre 6000 et 7000 mots. Nous enverrons le format demandé au moment de la notification des acceptations.
Sunday, 5 June 2016
Proposals are sought for a Special Issue of Disability Studies Quarterly devoted to the exploration of the relationship between visual disability and the creative arts. This issue, guest edited by Dr. Hannah Thompson (Royal Holloway University) and Dr. Vanessa Warne (University of Manitoba), tentatively titled ‘Blindness Arts,’ will examine cultural representations of blindness and blind people; the cultural experiences of visually disabled people; and cultural work produced by visually disabled creators.
Topics to be explored include but are not limited to: blindness and sculpture, music, dance, theatre, photography and other ‘visual’ arts; the evolving practice and cultural significance of audio description; accessible art works and exhibits; creative writing’s longstanding engagement with experiences of blindness; creativity in the context of institutionalization; material histories of blindness and creativity; and blindness and book design.
Possible approaches to this topic include:
Investigations of how a non-visual relationship with the world has stimulated artistic creation by asking what the art produced by blind practitioners can tell both the non-blind and the blind about the creative potential of blindness and the processes of artistic creation.
Consideration of the historical and cultural reasons why the subject of blindness has fascinated writers, artists, and film makers and to explore the relationship between creative representations of blindness and lived experience.
Examinations of the history of the creative potential of the paraphernalia of blindness and exploration of ways in which assistive technologies and practices (such as Braille, audio description and tactile images) have been used in creative work.
Explorations of the consumption of art, very broadly defined, by visually disabled people, to document and theorize experiences, and to apply knowledge of these experiences to the analysis of social attitudes, institutions and practices.
Submissions are invited from all disciplines, including cultural studies, and can include but are not restricted to research articles, personal accounts, creative works, and case studies of projects or initiatives. Proposals of 500 words are due September 15, 2016. Authors will be notified by October 31, 2016 of the outcome of the selection process. The due date for completed submissions (maximum of 6,000 words) is May 1, 2017. Please send proposals to Hannah Thompson. Thank you!
Wednesday, 1 June 2016
Audio Description: the Art of Access
Friday October 21st, 10am-6pm, central London (venue to be announced)
Sponsored by Royal Holloway University of London
Organised by Hannah Thompson and Eleanor Margolies
Featuring a keynote talk by Louise Fryer, author of An Introduction to Audio Description: A Practical Guide (Routledge, 2016)
Call for Presentations
This one-day workshop aims to explore some of the aesthetic and technological questions around the practice of audio description for live performance and in museums and galleries. Proposals for 20-minute presentations or workshop sessions are welcome from researchers and practitioners working in fields such as theatre and performance, museums and galleries, disability studies, the senses, writing and translation, voice and sound design. Presentations might consider – but are not limited to – the following themes:
* Audio description in promenade, site-specific and multi-media performance
* Integrated audio description
* Audio description for dance
* Audio description for opera
* Indeterminacy and surprise: what is ‘access’ for post-dramatic and non-narrative performance?
* Other resources for access to the visual elements of performance such as
performer-guides, recorded introductions, touch tours and haptic tools
* Access to theatre for blind and partially-sighted children and young people – is a different approach needed?
* The relationship between verbal description and tactile and kinaesthetic experience in the touch tour and pre-show movement workshop
* Other people making use of audio description: theatre-goers on the autistic spectrum, sighted museum visitors, students of visual culture
* Blind and partially-sighted performers’ experience of audio description and touch tours
* Talking about diversity, bodies, sex and violence
* The museum experience: orientation, audio information, tactile guides and handling collections
* The describing voice: whose voice? live or recorded? human or synthesised?
* The strengths and limitations of infrared, radio and wireless systems; in-ear, on-ear and bone conduction headphones; new directions in sound technology
* Achieving a balance between speech, music, recorded sound and description
* Archives – the potential of description scripts as performance documentation
Proposals (200 words) and a short biography (200 words) should be sent to Hannah Thompson by 30 June: successful applicants will be contacted by 21st July. There is no cost to attend the event and refreshments and lunch will be provided.
Wednesday, 23 March 2016
Extant is Britain's only professional performing arts company of visually impaired creators. Many attendees at Blind Creations enjoyed their fascinating Flatlands workshop. Extant's new production, The Chairs by French dramatist Eugene Ionesco, is touring the country this April and Blind Creations enthusiasts are warmly encouraged to attend. Audio description is cleverly woven into the dialogue, and pre-show touch tours are also available. More information can be found on the Extant site here.
Wednesday, 9 March 2016
Here is news of a conference which may be of interest:
Tactile Reading will take place in Stockholm April 5–7, 2017, bringing together people working with children and youth with visual impairments and blindness, from all over the world.
Academics in various research areas, teachers, specialists, commercial companies, developers and innovators in the field of tactile reading are invited.
The conference is arranged by Swedish Agency for Accessible Media (MTM) and National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools (SPSM).
This will be a chance to share experiences and research in the field of tactile reading. The conference will promote best practices and inspire to new ideas for research, and will bring people together for future collaboration. This is the first time this conference is arranged, with the ambition to create a recurrent international event.
Call for Abstracts
We are seeking practitioners and academics to give presentations on the following topics:
· Development of tactual understanding
· Tactile reading and the brain
· Braille and literacy
· Tactile graphics
· Universal design and tactile reading
The time for a presentation is either 20 or 40 minutes.
All presentations should be in English.
Send your contribution to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Present a poster
If you prefer to present a poster at the conference please submit your proposal and contact us.
We are looking forward to meet you!
For more information and details visit the website.
Monday, 7 March 2016
David Johnson's giant outdoor art installation 'Too Big to Feel' caused quite a stir when it landed at Royal Holloway on 12th June 2015. We are delighted that the College has agreed to keep the piece on site - in a slightly different location - as part of its Art Collections. To celebrate, Royal Holloway has made this video about DAvid's work.
Tuesday, 16 February 2016
Zina Weygand, who gave a wonderful keynote address at Blind Creations, is organising a colloquium on Jacques Lusseyran in Paris on 28 June 2016. Several Blind Creations delegates, including Celine Roussel, Piet Devos, Marion Chottin, Romain Villet, Rebecca Scales, Hannah Thompson and of course Zina herself, will be speaking at the event. More details about this colloquium, including the programme, are here and all are welcome to attend.
Thursday, 11 February 2016
On Thursday February 25th 2016, 3:15-4:45pm, six Blind Creations attendees will discuss the conference in a round-table entitled 'Creations off the Beaten Path: A Discussion on Disability and the Arts: challenging our preconception of artistic practice and the experience of artistic creation' which will take place as part of the 2016 Transcultural Exchange conference at Boston University, George Sherman Union, 2nd Floor, Metcalf Hall, Auditorium.
This panel, moderated by Florian Grond, will explore how the relationship between people with disabilities and artistic creation can help to expand our view of the arts. In a predominantly visual culture, blindness constitutes a particular challenge to our (pre)conceptions of artistic creation. This is why this panel will focus on blind creations. Our definition of ‘blindness’ is broad, encompassing anyone who relates to the world using senses other than sight and is open to the general topic of disabilities and artistic creation.
The panelists are blind and non-blind artists, academics, practitioners and advocates challenging stereotypes of ‘blindness’ by recasting it as a multi-faceted and positive creative force. This creative force, like all good art, challenges us to reconsider what we include in our definition of artistic practice and how its outcomes can and indeed must be experienced by blind and non-blind people.
Georgina Kleege lectures in English and Creative Writing at the University of Berkeley, California. Her current research interests include creative non-fiction, disability, autobiography and blindness and visual art. She is the author of Sight Unseen (1999) and Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller (2006) as well as numerous scholarly articles. Georgina is a leading figure in blindness studies.
Hannah Thompson is a partially blind academic and blogger. She lectures in French Language and Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London in the UK. She has published widely on nineteenth-century French culture and is currently writing a book on representations of blindness in French literature. She is particularly interested in the fraught relationship between French visual culture and Disability Studies and is the author of the popular Blind Spot blog.
Vanessa Warne is an Associate Professor in the Department of English, Film and Theatre at the University of Manitoba, where she holds a cross-appointment with the University’s Interdisciplinary Disability Studies MA Program. Her current research is on blindness, literacy and the development of a print culture for blind readers in nineteenth-century Britain. She also volunteers in the heritage community, promoting museum accessibility and advocating for the role of museums in post-secondary learning and social justice education.
David Johnson is a 59 year-old blind artist-educator. He lives and works in Hitchin in the south-east of England. His art practice and education are unconventional: He spent a year at art college, during which time his eye condition (Retinitis Pigmentosa) dramatically worsened. He then changed to music studies and followed a music based career for about fifteen years before reconnecting with an art practice. This revival of interest in art was prompted by his involvement with a vibrant access to art scene in London together with his own children's art activities.
Piet Devos is a Belgian literary scholar. Having lost sight at the age of five, he has always been fascinated by perception. In his PhD thesis, he developed a sensory approach to literature. His new research project focuses on writers who interpreted their disabilities as a creative reorganization of perception. Since November 2015, he is affiliated with the Centre for Sensory Studies at Concordia University, Montreal (Canada).
On Friday, February 26th, 2015 from 9:45 am to 11:45 am there is also a mentoring session and portfolio reviews with the panelists. Please come to the mentoring session and portfolio reviews if you are interested in art and disability and accessibility in the arts. The mentors of this session are happy to give feedback about your work and its relation to fine arts and literature with a special focus on art and blindness. Come to the mentoring session if you are a blind artist and seek mentoring and if you want to network with your peers. Also come if you want to get feedback about the accessibility of your artwork, or discuss the aesthetic and practical aspects of audio description. Also, come to the mentoring session if you are for instance a curator thinking about how to make the artworks in an exhibition accessible.
Thursday, 28 January 2016
Hannah was feeling nostalgic about the conference yesterday when David Johnson came back to Royal Holloway to discuss his art works (including Too Big to Feel) and to run another collaborative art-making workshop. Read Hannah's account of the event here (her article also includes a link to the audio recording of David's talk).