The British Council and Beijing Body On and On Cultural Exchange Center co-hosted the 5th UK-China Disability Arts Forum in Guangzhou Yun Theatre from 2-3 December 2023. Following the success of collaborations in the past four years, this year’s forum continues to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in arts. This is the first time the forum takes place outside of Beijing.
Since 2019, the British Council and Beijing Body On and On Cultural Exchange Center have successfully hosted four consecutive UK-China Disability Arts Forums. Working together, we have raised awareness of social models of disability and promoted the development of disability arts in China, facilitating new exchanges and collaboration between China and the UK in this field. This year, the forum will not only delve into historical aspects but also look forward, embracing both the lessons of the past and the possibilities that lie ahead. The fifth edition of the forum - Historical Encounters, will provide a moment reflection and evaluation, prompting attendees to plan for an accessible future.
The history of disability arts in the UK is intertwined with ideological renewal of disability and the development of diverse arts and aesthetics. It has continued for more than fifty years from the 1970s to the present. Disability arts in the UK has left behind a wealth of documents, cases and experiences, influencing other countries in the process of global cooperation. China also has long-standing national, provincial and municipal disabled art troupes, which provide a window to showcase the spiritual outlook of disabled people in China. Dialogue between China and the UK about disability arts has become more extensive over the past 20 years.
This year's forum consists of 8 keynote speeches from UK and Chinese speakers, 11 promotional pitches on latest arts projects and two roundtable dialogues, "The Creation Space of Disabled Artist" and "The Inclusive Development of Disability Arts in China".
This year's forum was broadcast live online and equipped with access support such as sign language interpretation, simultaneous interpretation in Chinese and English, real-time Chinese subtitles. The forum is also guide-dog friendly. Please scan the QR code below watch the video recordings.