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The Art of Inclusion – Disability and Diversity in Arts and Culture

The concept of disability and diversity in arts and culture has become a central focus of the global movement for inclusion. A number of initiatives have emerged to mainstream inclusion in the arts, from Southeast Asia to Europe. These initiatives recognize the importance of art that reflects personal experiences of disability. They also promote the concept of a social model for disability, which shifts the focus from a personal experience to a social one. As art is an integral part of a social context, it can be used to promote a positive social perspective.

To advance the discussion around the topic, the authors of The Art of Inclusion – Disability and Diverse Cultures, published in January 2018, discussed the impact of arts and cultural institutions on a number of disabilities. The authors of the book include Alexandra Filippovskaya, department coordinator of inclusive programs at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Vlad Strukov, editor of the magazine The Garage Journal, and Anton Ryanov, artist, and disability activist. He is also a member of the expert council of the 2020 Innovation Prize.

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Aside from enabling artists with disabilities to participate in the arts, accessible venues are essential to ensure that everyone can enjoy the works of art. Access to IT and specialized equipment to facilitate independent participation. In one study of disabled musicians, specialized musical equipment and training to facilitate their appearance without shame, while music-making helps articulate identities and influence perceptions. For many, disability is a barrier to participation in the arts.

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