The Future Isn’t Soon Enough: Disability is Diversity
A continuation of the Nordic Talks series featuring discussions on the future of disability integration.
Over one billion people (15% of the global population) are disabled. Accessibility legislation is moving too slowly and removing barriers to access is only the beginning. How can we push the conversation beyond access and accommodation and toward meaningful involvement in all aspects of society?
This panel explores the concept of Crip Futurity: a longing for a world where disability is celebrated for what it is – diverse – in thought, practice, body and culture.
See full list of event participants below.
Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen is a State Prize-awarded multidisciplinary artist whose short film Reflector of Living Will won Best Screenplay at the Pisa Robotic Film Festival in 2018. Her work deals with disability politics, aesthetics of assistive devices and gender issues related to women with disabilities. Wallinheimo-Heimonen has facilitated social art workshops in Finland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Estonia and China and participated in exhibitions in Finland and abroad. She received a three-year grant from the Arts Promotion Center Finland for her project Empathy Objects 2019–2021. She has osteogenesis imperfecta as a piquant characteristic.
Landon Krentz is a bilaterally profoundly Deaf artist who is completely bilingual in American Sign Language (ASL) and English. As a Deaf artist, he brings a unique perspective to his roles as an Artistic Director and an ASL performer for theatre. He hopes to establish professional sign language theatre by engaging in theatrical practices from an intersectional standpoint: one that allows both sign and spoken languages to coexist in an artistic practice. His work has allowed him to advocate for artists within the larger community so that Deafness is looked upon as a reflection of diversity and culture. As a result of his work, he was presented the Award of Merit for Inclusion and Access from the Western Institute of Deaf and Hard of Hearing in 2018.
Sean Lee (he/they) is an artist and curator exploring the notion of disability art as the last avant-garde. Orienting towards a “crip horizon,” he is interested in the transformative possibilities of crip community building and accessible curatorial practices that seek out ways disability can disrupt. Lee holds a B.A. in Arts Management and Studio from UTSC. Previously, he was Tangled Arts’ inaugural Curator in Residence (2016) and Gallery Manager (2017). He is also an independent curator, lecturer and advisor, adding his insights and perspectives to conversations across Canada, the U.S. and internationally. Lee currently sits on the board of the Toronto Arts Council, CARFAC Ontario, Creative Users Projects and is a member of the OAC’s Deaf and Disability Advisory Committee and Chair of TAC’s Visual and Media Arts Committee.
Jessica Watkin has been consulting on a project basis in Toronto and Canada (in-person and online) since 2016 with Next Stage Theatre Festival, Lemon Tree Productions, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Live Describe, New College Library, Canadian Association of Theatre Research and Bodies in Translation. A multidisciplinary Blind artist, Watkin started as a playwright and has since developed performance movement pieces and ensemble-created performances for Toronto Fringe Festival. She created a rug for the exhibit, Productive Discomfort with her work, This Was Not Made For Your Visual Pleasure #pleasetouchme. Watkin is also the Co-founder and Artistic Director of Feminist Space Camp magazine. She cares about building a better performance community in Canada and her research focuses on disabled artists and their creation processes in Canada and the systems of support and training institutions that affect disabled people. She loves reading, yoga, sunflowers, Joni Mitchell and travel.