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Who isn't there? A Letter to #Tanzkongress (a thread)

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With Meg Stuart a groundbreaking choreographer takes artistic responsibility for the Tanzkongress this year and gives it a new form: a process shaped by all participants to create a temporary community.
We want to acknowledge the way that care has been cultivated over these 5 days and the work that has been done of sharing and learning from each other.
But the Manual For Gathering - as the program booklet is called - also asks the questions: "Who isn't there? Who can't be there?"
So who is excluded from this community?
Among the invited artists is not one disabled person. For an art form that deals with body and perception, the contribution of disabled choreographers and dancers is central.
The Tanzkongress 2019 wants to reflect on what dance is, has been and can be. Disabled artists were and are almost always excluded from these reflections.
At the same time, innovations in dance were often inspired by the movement material of disabled people, but they were almost never included on the stage itself or in the choreographic process.
The Tanzkongress does not provide access information beyond the standard information on ramps and stairs. There is no qualified contact person to clarify needs beforehand. Also no sign language translation or audio description is offered.
Publishing the program 24 hours in advance makes it impossible for people with assistance to organize their participation in the congress. The same applies to chronically ill or neurodivers people who depend on planning security. Remote participation is not possible either.
These are just a few examples of how disabled people (as well as people caring for others) are excluded from participation in this Tanzkongress. "We can make room for everybody" is written in the Manual - but that does not work for everyone spontaneously and on site.
Even when asked to "respond to our mutual needs," certain needs of potential participant groups are still not considered at all.
Thus, disabled artists are not part of what is being negotiated here - although interdependence is an issue for which they are experts and which concerns us all.
The Tanzkongress is an event of the German Federal Cultural Foundation and takes place every three years with a budget of almost 1 million euros. Consequently, this major event of the dance scene is also responsible for enabling social participation.
The realization of this responsibility is not a nice concession of privileged individuals, but is based on human rights: the #UNCRPD, which was ratified by Germany 10 years ago.
The Convention stipulates equal rights, non-discrimination and accessibility in all spheres of life and, last but not least, the cultural participation of disabled people.
Access should no longer be seen as an afterthought and burden, but must be a natural and fundamental part of the event planning right from the start. Despite some efforts within the team, the people in charge have decided to deliberately ignore the subject.
In addition, in December 2018 the conference "DIVERS! Future Laboratory Inclusion + Performing Arts in Saxony " took place in @HELLERAU, which is a cooperation partner of Tanzkongress.
Was that just a fig leaf that you treat yourself to when there's still money left at the end of the year?
Where is the lasting interest in an inclusive future, if half a year later in their own theatre, the most important networking event for dance makers excludes disabled artists?
Not only the management of the congress, but also Hellerau has not fulfilled its responsibilities here. If disabled choreographers and dancers are only welcome to specially labeled alibi events, it is in fact still a structural exclusion.
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The whole letter can be found in the link as a PDF (in German and English) - or write me a DM, I'll send it to you!
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