The 2019 Cripping the arts symposium gathered people who share  a belief that Deaf, Disability, and Mad arts and activism change not only how we understand difference, but how we create and experience arts and culture as well.

This event asserted a disability politic of “cripping the arts”. When we crip, we “open up with desire for the ways that disability disrupts”, as disability studies activist Kelly Fritsch says. When we “crip the arts”, we pay attention to the different ways that Deaf, Disabled, and Mad artists and audiences contribute to, create, and experience culture, making Canada’s art sector more inclusive, innovative, and dynamic, establishing new standards of artistic excellence. Our art disrupts normative understandings of difference, creating a multiplicity of intersectional representations as well as opportunities to experience arts and culture in new ways.

Over three days, we shared space with artists, activists, researchers, and arts council officers in panel discussions, co-creative workshops, keynotes, an exhibition, a multi-sensory installation, and evening performances. Through live streaming coverage of our daytime programming, we explored emerging Deaf, Disability, and Mad cultural practices and expanded our art and ideas to an international audience. We delved into our futures together as they relate to topics around accessible practices in the arts, art and activism in a digital world, exploring new models of leadership, and working in solidarity between disability rights, disability justice, decoloniality, and Indigenous sovereignty.

This digital catalogue features the archived videos of the symposium’s proceedings, speaker bios, photographs, and key outputs* from the symposium, such as reports and publications. We hope you enjoy!