Art Brut World Form, Disabled People's Art and Culture Festival, Tokyo 2020 & Japan Cultural Expo (2020)
In February 2020 I was invited to participate in Japan's Art Brut World Forum during the Disabled People's Art and Culture Festival which took place as part of the Tokyo 2020 celebrations. Practitioners and experts working on the promotion of art and culture led by disabled people from around the world were invited to speak on each theme. Along with three other panellists, I was invited to speak on the theme of public policy related to the arts and culture of disabled people. Here, I discussed my research on inclusive curating as a route to ensure disabled people are represented as cultural leaders. The panellists also included Martine Lusardy (Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Saint-Pierre, Paris), Yoshiyuki Oshita (Researcher of Cultural Policy, Director of Independent Administrative Institution National Museum of Art) and Jean-Marc Ayrault (Former Prime Minister of France, Honorary Mayor of Nantes).
In addition to presenting at the world forum conference, I also had the opportunity to visit some of the key disability art sites in the region of Shiga. This included a visit to Shigaraki Seinenryo, a supported ceramics studio where artists live in a residential care setting. Here, I had the pleasure to meet some fantastic artists and see a different way learning disabled artists are supported. I also was able to visit the brilliant art brut artist Shinichi Sawada. His studio is set in picturesque landscape of Kusatsu in the mountains; an unforgettable experience.