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PLATFORM Live: a festival about inclusivity and accessibility

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Next weekend, a one-day online festival will seek to bring further inclusivity and accessibility to Australia’s arts scene.

Taking place virtually on Saturday 27 June, PLATFORM Live festival will feature artists, performers and writers with disabilities from across Australia.

Curated by Canberra artists Hanna Cormick (pictured above) and Daniel Savage, PLATFORM will encompass music, video, comedy, burlesque, performance art, readings and more.

Producer of PLATFORM Live, Scott Howie, says that the festival’s aim is to give recognition to artists that might encounter barriers to participation in traditional festival environments.

“Our curatorial team Daniel Savage and Hanna Cormick, who both identify as disabled artists, have put together a line-up that promises to entertain, provoke, amuse and astound—and maybe dispel a few misconceptions about the type of work that artists with disability make.”

Canberrans will be familiar with both curator’s works, with Savage and Cormick having previously performed at Canberra arts events such as Art, Not Apart and You Are Here Festival.

PLATFORM Live curator and artist Daniel Savage. Image supplied.

While PLATFORM Live will be a virtual experience taking place at platformriverina.com/live, PLATFORM is also a physical destination.

The creation of Eastern Riverina Arts in partnership with IDEAS (Information on Disability Education and Awareness Services) and funds from a National Disability Insurance Agency Information grant, PLATFORM is a “multi-sensory mobile art installation space adapted from a 20-foot shipping container”, which operates as an accessible space for people of all ages and abilities at events and festivals.

“Everyone has the right to participate in the cultural life wherever they live,” says Scott. “PLATFORM has been our way of increasing inclusivity and accessibility for events in regional NSW.”

PLATFORM Live curator and artist Hanna Cormick. Credit: Shelly Higgs Novel Photographic.

Scott adds that while festival culture is alive and well in Australia, even in the virtual era of COVID, event organisers still overlook accessibility.

“In the rush to move events online quickly and cheaply, accessibility and inclusivity has sometimes been overlooked,” he says.

To combat this, PLATFORM Live’s program will feature closed-captioning and Auslan interpretation throughout.

To highlight the work of artists who work with physical mediums, artists will also take over the PLATFORM Riverina Instagram to create PLATFORM GALLERY.

PLATFORM Live Performer Katia Schwartz. Credit: Jack Ailwood.

Festival Program

PLATFORM Ideas

2 – 3 pm

It took a pandemic to make the world digitally accessible, but how long will it last?

Performance artist Hanna Cormick leads a panel discussion on online arts in the time of COVID-19, featuring a selection of artists and advocates who have prior experience with isolation and creating artworks that can be accessible for those who can’t go outside.

Veteran isolators, many panel members have lived through years of being long-term housebound, and have watched this transition to social distancing and digital access from a unique perspective. Featuring Anna Barnes, Ricky Buchanan and Jenny O’Keefe.

PLATFORM Screen

3.15 – 4 pm

Artist and curator Daniel Savage will host a guided tour of selected work by six contemporary disabled artists working with video.

The works have been selected to show the quality and diversity of practice that exists within disability arts today and the unique perspectives that a lived experience of disability brings to each arts practice.

Featuring Sue Jo Wright, Romily Alice Walden, Riana Head-Toussaint, Prue Stevenson, Marion Conrow and Daniel Savage.

PLATFORM Words

4.30-5.30 pm

Kick back and relax with some of Australia’s leading wordsmiths, in an afternoon session of story and poetry readings live-streamed to your room.

Featuring readings from Carly Findlay OAM, Gayle Kennedy and Andy Jackson.

Carly Findlay OAM. Image supplied.

PLATFORM Stage

4.30-5.30 pm

Hosted by stand-up comedian and creator of Crips & Creeps comedy club Madeleine Stewart, PLATFORM Live will close with a line-up of playful, proactive, and powerful live performances including dancers, live music, aerialists and performance artists.

PLATFORM Live performer Madeleine Stewart. Credit: Monica Pronk.

Featuring stand-up comedian Madeleine Stewart, musician Liz Martin, owner of Pole, Aerial and Burlesque Academy Sky Sirens Katia Schwartz, performance poet Alison Paradoxx, musicians Tralala Blip and dancer Jana Castillo.

See the full line up of PLATFORM Live performers here.

THE ESSENTIALS 

What: PLATFORM Live
When: Saturday 27 June from 2 om
Where: platformriverina.com/live
Tickets: Free to watch online

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