On Friday night I attended DIS:Play, an immersive collection of interactive performances by a group of young disabled creatives, held at Contact Theatre. GMCDP project worker Gemma has been working with this group of young people for several months now and I felt so grateful to have the opportunity to see all their hard work come to life.
Gemma told me that when the group first started meeting up, they would not turn their cameras on and were very reluctant to engage with each other; so it was truly joyful to see how they blossomed out of their comfort zones and took their space. Gemma, you have a way of bringing the best out in people. I just want to recognize the part you played in this - through kindness, empowerment, and excellent facilitation. Gemma was the first person I met when I joined the coalition, through the Powerful Together gatherings and if it wasn't for that, I also would not have grown in my journey and challenged myself by joining the Exec recently.
DIS:Play is described on Contact’s website as a 'journey through disabled protest - lived, shared and celebrated', but nothing could have prepared me for what I was going to experience in the next two hours. As you navigate a total of three different accessible spaces, each with different performances, you get the sense that you are entering the minds of these young people. I loved how each performance was different from the last and how they all taught me something new or gave me something to reflect on. I cried, A LOT, and then I went home and cried some more. I cried of joy, I cried as protest, I cried of anger for this world. I cried because I felt seen, truly seen. I cried because the vulnerability and courage of these performances hit my very core. I can't wait to see what they do next. What we do next.
Review by Rosa, one of our executive board members.