This March, Ireland’s new annual disability arts festival will take centre stage. Disrupt Disability Arts Festival is a vibrant celebration of disability art, curated by and for the disability community.
Immerse yourself in a rich diversity of voices from the disability arts community. The festival line up includes theatre, dance, literature-based performance and visual arts, all delivered through a range of accessible engagement formats in relaxed spaces.
This unique festival is designed to deepen understanding and appreciation for the richness of experiences and perspectives that define disability in Ireland. Disrupt Disability Arts Festival actively dismantles barriers to artistic engagement faced by both artists and audiences with lived experience of disability.
Highlights of the programme include a special performance for International Women’s Day: ‘Dis-Gender; Disability and Gender Identity’ brings together a lineup of artists to explore gender politics specifically related to disability. Another highlight is ‘Embodiment; Disability and the Body in Art’ which will examine the portrayal of disabled bodies in artistic contexts featuring new and existing work from Alison Clarke and Louise Bruton.
Guided by the principles of the social model of disability, Disrupt Disability Arts Festival is a disability-led and disability-focused event. It foregrounds quality artistic practices while challenging prevailing notions about disability. Disrupt Disability Arts Festival is a space for connection between the Irish disability community and wider society, opening dialogue and creating shared experiences.
The festival’s hybrid events (in-person and online) open up the programme to wider disability communities, but also to carers and national arts audiences who may face economic or geographical barriers.
Join the inaugural Disrupt Disability Arts Festival from 7-11 March 2024 at Project Arts Centre and online. The visual art exhibition and online programme continue until 20 April. Come on a journey that goes beyond the ordinary, transcends boundaries and reshapes narratives around disability and the arts.
Please refer to our disclaimer below for COVID-19 Safety Policy.
Festival Opening Party
07 March, 6 pm
Join us to celebrate the launch of this year’s Disrupt Disability Arts Festival!
There will be a preview of the ‘Distinct’ exhibition, as well as the opportunity to meet the festival team and participating artists. Artist Suzanne Walsh will perform an adaptation of ‘Lazarus Lingua’ commissioned as part of the festival opening – Free but ticketed.
Opening Performance: Lazarus Lingua by Suzanne Walsh
07 March, 6 pm
Lazarus Lingua is a recitation of the Latin names of extinct animals from 4000 BC to the present day, from when Latin was a living language. The names recited are drawn from biological taxonomy systems and descriptions of species that have been devised by humans. It is also an invocation of the dead, in particular those species now extinct.
07 Mar – 20 Apr | 11am to 5pm
‘Distinct’ explores the climate crisis through the perspective of disability.
Platforming 11 artists whose practices represent the diverse, intersectional voices of the disability arts community. The exhibition navigates how lived experiences of disability can help inform more sustainable ways of living.
A Workshop with Michelle Hall
8 March | 2pm
Join artist Michelle Hall for a talk exploring her use of natural materials in performances.
Michelle Hall is a neurodivergent visual artist and educator based in Dublin. Recent exhibitions include ‘Remembering the Future’ at VISUAL Carlow 2023 and solo show ‘(R)OARS’ at Draíocht Gallery in 2022.
Dis-Gender; Disability and Gender Identity
8 March | 7:15pm
€16/€13 | Selected free tickets available
Disability, gender and gender identity are inextricably linked.
For International Women’s Day, we present the work of some incredible artists who disrupt the status quo and explore these themes in their work. Featuring Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan, Kathy O’Leary, Mairéad Folan and Them Fatale.
Workshop with Aisling Reina
9 March | 2 pm
Join Aisling Reina for a zine-making workshop for the trans community exploring disability and climate action. They have facilitated workshops for trans-disabled people as part of Rest Rooms in Dublin Fringe Festival and created performance art on the intersection of disability, sexual violence and the Irish state for Chronic Collective in Pallas Studio.
Embodiment; Disability and the body in art
9 March | 6pm
€16/€13 | Selected free tickets available
An evening of work which is a frank, humorous and moving account of the disabled body in art.
Featuring the work of Alison Clarke, Tobi Balogun and Louise Bruton, followed by a panel discussion on the theme of the disabled body in art and self-care.
Festival Closing Party
9 March | 8pm
A celebration of disability with DJ Renn Miano, DJ Roo Honeychild and live music performances.
Disconnect is a chance for the community to come together and socialise, dance and connect with each other! Come join us – Everybody is very welcome!
The Vanishing Point
8th March | 5 – 6pm
In association with Creative Brain Week, Disrupt Disability Arts Festival presents ‘The Vanishing Point’, an experimental conversation with Christopher Bailey, Head of Arts and Health at the World Health Organisation.
Monsters, imagination and resilience. Bailey talks about his sight loss journey and what he has gained along the way.
Creative Brain Week, 4-9th March 2024 is a pioneering event that illustrates innovation at the intersection of arts and brain science, including creative approaches to health.
Disrupt Disability Festival is programmed with accessibility in mind. A full list of the accessibility measures for each performance is available on the festival website.
If you have any questions related to accessibility, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or call 01 8819 613 . You can find the latest information about Project’s accessibility here.
Co-Directors: AlanJames Burns, Áine O’Hara
Advisor: Adrian Colwell
Festival Producer: Khanyisile Mbukwane
Creative Producer, Visual Art Exhibition: Marie Farrington
Executive Assistant: Fiona Byrne
Administrative Support: Áine Stapleton
Quote from Disrupt Festival Artist, Louis Bruton, Theatre Maker:
“Disrupt Disability Arts Festival will be the perfect platform to present my current work in progress theatre project, Legless. A semi-autobiographical theatre production that will unveil the complications and contradictions that disabled people face as they navigate relationships of all kinds. Disrupt is an amazing project that will be significantly contributing to disability arts in Ireland. I feel that a designated disability arts festival is badly needed in Ireland”
Disrupt Disability Arts Festival is funded and supported by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon Festivals Investment Scheme, Dublin City Council, Project Arts Centre and RTÉ Supporting the Arts.
Disrupt Disability Arts Festival is an organisation dedicated to creating safe spaces and open access to the arts in Ireland for the disability community. We want to ensure we are a safe space for high-risk artists and audience members who want to attend our festival.
With this in mind, our events are mask-required with some exceptions. Disrupt Disability Arts Festival will provide a selection of high-quality masks at the festival free of charge. We would recommend a ffp2, ffp3, or kn95 mask.
We understand that some people cannot wear masks for a variety of reasons, and we want to assure audiences that you are still very welcome to our events. This will not affect your ability to attend any of our programme.
We will have HEPA air filtering at events and we will provide hand sanitiser free of charge.
We also encourage participants to take a covid antigen test before attending Disrupt if possible, we will have a small number of these available on request. And if you are experiencing flu or COVID-19 symptoms, we would ask you not to attend the festival.