15 September 2016


Two months ago, on July 28, I received an email from the British Council who offered me to become the Indonesian delegation for the Unlimited Festival at the Southbank Centre, London. Such a new experience and a great opportunity for me. Without thinking long I said YES!.

Unlimited Fest is a festival that focuses on arts and disability which celebrates the artistic vision and originality by disabled artist. Unlimited is delivired by Shape Arts and Artsadmin.

Held every 2 years since 2012 and this is the third time. 

This year they were held in two places, London and Glasgow. I chose London as my destination along with Annisa Rahmania of Young Voices Indonesia (Young Disability Community).
 (Me with Annisa Rahmania)

I was in London for 6 nights (from 6-11 Sept 2016) to attend a series of events held by the Unlimited Festival. From the discussions, performances art and even a party. :D

Oh ya, I brought my stickers and postcards artwork to be given to all delegates and artist in there. So happy because they love it! :)
 And here they are...
Tuesday 6 Sept. Event talk: History Of Disability Arts In The UK.
Opened by Tony Heaton (CEO of Shapearts) and also Jo Verrent (Senior Producer of Unlimited Fest). They gave a speech and explained to us the history and purpose of Unlimited Fest. Followed by a question and answer discussion. 

The event closed with "Networking Lunch" which is a moment to chat with delegates from other countries. There were 84 delegates from 18 different countries.
 Jo Verrent (Senior producer of Unlimited)
 "Networking lunch"
 Delegates from South Korea

Tuesday 6 Sept. Performance: The Way You Look (at me) Tonight.
Claire Cunningham (UK disabled artist) and Jess Curtis (international performer) trying to combine performance between dancing, singing, and story telling about our habits and practices of perceiving each other and the world. And also explores the judgement of bodies and the quality of life.

Tuesday 6 Sept. Performance: Stand Up, Sit Down, Roll Over by Jess Thom
Jess Thom has Tourette's Syndrome, a condition that makes her say 'biscuit' 16.000 times a day. I think she's very funny with all the imperfections that she had.
 (Jess Thom and Me).
Tuesday 6 Sept. Visual Arts: TV Classic Part 1 by Cameron Morgan.
Cameron Morgan made 10 paintings from every decade from the 1930s to the present, which is his favorite programs.
 The two of his paintings.
Wed 7 Sept. Visual Arts & Installations: Cherophobia by Noemi Lakmaier.
 Cherophobia is a psychiatric condition defined as 'an exaggerated or irrational fear of gaiety or happiness'. Originating from her own experience of disabled self. She attempts to lift her tied and immobilised body off the ground using 33.000 helium balloons.

Wed 7 Sept. Talks and Debates: Unfixed A Coversation.
 Credit to Daniel Savage (AUS).
 What does being 'disabled' really mean?
Unfixed artist talk featuring Aidan Moesby, Daniel Savage & Jane Gauntlett. The artists speaking about their practice in both mainstream and disability arts contexts.

Thursday 8 Sept. Event: Unlimited Festival Launching Party.
Drink wine accompanied by the music. I met so many practitioners of the delegation in there, from sharing stories until gave them my name cards  and also my artwork. Very good atmosphere.
(Nisa, Jo Verrent, and Me)
Thursday 8 Sept. Performance: Grandad and the Machine by Jack Dean.
With two-hour performance, containing 13 parts of the story, Jack Dean interacts with a doll named Grandad. He invites us to enter into a steampunk fairytale fantasy. 
A enchanting storytelling...

Friday 9 Sept. Talks and Debates: The Generation Gap.

This session discusses about the chances of young persons with disabilities in entering the arts sector. Feat Kim Simpson (producer), Kate Lovell (theatre director), John Wilkinson (writer), Laura Dajao (dance artist), and more...

Friday 9 Sept. Performance: Indian Instrument by Baluji Shrivastav.
Baluji Shrivastav suffer from blindness since he was a baby. However, he managed to become one of the greatest instrumentalists from India. Standing applause for him!!!

Friday 9 Sept. Performance: Beautiful Octopus Club.
 Everyone singing, everyone dancing. No matter what they looked like. Everyone enjoyed. I'll be missed London for sure... :(

Sat 10 Sept. Talks and Debates: Are Some Equal Than Others?
Feat Claire Cunningham (dancer), Nicola Miles (Actor), Ivan Riches (Musician). This panel discusses about equality, access, and opportunity in relation to the arts including performance, visual arts, broadcast media and music.

Sat 10 Sept. Performance: Just A Few Words by Russell Thompson.
Look into the mind of a person who stammers in this performanceShouldn’t take long to say how you feel. Except for Russell Thompson, its take a while.

Sat 10 Sept. Performance: Assisted Suicide (musical) by Liz Carr.
One of the best performers that I saw over there. She campaigned against legalising suicide. The majority of the UK population believe it’s a humane choice to legalise assisted suicide for especially terminally ill or disabled people, but Liz Carr and many other disabled people disagree. Funny and very entertaining us!

Sat 10 Sept. Performance: Saturday Night is Variety Night.
Enjoy an evening of magic, music, and performance.
 Live painting by Rachel Gadsden. I gave her my postcard and sticker artwork. And you know what? She also gave me a book of her masterpiece artworks. It just made my day!
Nia, Adam (Director of British Council Indonesia), and Me.

Sunday 11 Sept. Artist Talk: Nama Ato: Japanese Outsider Art.
Takako Shiraiwa discusses the delicate black-and-white drawings of Koji Nishioka, the playful ‘Makoot’ dolls of Makoto Okawa and the colourful creations of Yasuyuki Ueno.
Shiraiwa also speaks about Atelier Corners in Osaka, Japan: a centre dedicated to supporting artists with disabilities. 

 One of the works by Koji Nishioka.

Sunday 11 Sept. Talk: The Doorways Project by Bekki Perriman.
 Bekki Perriman is an artist working across sound, photography and installation. Her research-based work investigates issues of homelessness and mental health and has been shown across the UK and internationally.
 Inspired by her experience of life on the streets, Bekki Perriman's sound installation explores homeless culture through the personal stories of society's most silenced people.
I met with Aidan Moesby at the day before I left. He is an Artist Curator - Arts and also Mental Health Consultant. We have some drinks and talked about our creative proccess. He suffer from Bipolar Disorder just like me. Very kind and humble person for sure! See you again buddy... :)
It was my last event in London. Happy, sad, proud, compassionate, its all mixed together. Happy because they were given me the opportunity to be in London. 
Proud to see the struggles of people with disabilities who are able to work beyond the normal. Sad because I need to go back to my country. This place is too beautiful. People with disabilities are so appreciated in London. They work and do something for themselves and their environment. IM SO PROUD!!!

Thanks to the British Council team (Adam, Levina, Jane and more) and also Jo Verrent from Unlimited which has given me a great opportunity to be part of the event. I knew so many great people out there who inspire me to continue to work and do something for myself and my country. 

I promise one day I'll comeback to UK.
Reviewed on Kompas. 

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