Introduction

2021, March

Rupert’s 2020 public programmes explored care and interdependence and how they intersect with cultural, socio-political and artistic practices. Throughout the year, discussions were grounded in disability studies and activism to think through and critically question what care and interdependence can mean. Here you will find records of lectures and creative workshops held throughout the year.

The programmes brought together local and international speakers from diverse backgrounds, including law, activism, academia and the arts. They have also involved a number of our residents and locally-based artists presenting their work in relation to the theme of the year.

2020 public programme have turned to exploring care and interdependence in response to an ideology of individualism and competition. This ideology has emerged increasingly under a social-economic system characterised by neoliberalism. The consequences of this include creating or entrenching division and systematically devaluing care, both as a form of labour and as an ethical principle. It is also an ideology that fails to recognise the basic premise of interdependence, which concerns how we are all, in varying degrees, mutually dependent on and responsible to each other and our environment. Drawing on a range of perspectives, the programme considered what interdependence can mean for practices of care, relations of power and forms of solidarity, not just in the arts but in society more generally.  

Rupert’s programmes are partly supported by Lithuanian Culture Council and Vilnius city municipality.

Talking about disability and solidarity

2021, March

A talk by David Ruebain and Rahila Gupta streamed on 8 February 2020 moderated by Yates Norton as part of Rupert’s 2020 programmes on care and interdependence. 

In this talk David Ruebain and Rahila Gupta are in conversation about forms of allyship and practices of care. They discuss how we can speak about specific experiences of impairment without contributing to oppressive and prejudicial perspectives on disability.  

David is Chief Executive of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama.  Prior to that he had been Chief Executive of Equality Challenge Unit, a policy and research agency funded to advance equality & diversity in the UK further and higher education and research sectors.  Before that, he was a practicing solicitor for 21 years; latterly as Director of Legal Policy at the Equality and Human Rights Commission of Great Britain following a career in private practice as a Partner at and founder of the department of Education, Equality and Disability Law at Levenes Solicitors.  David is also a Visiting Professor of Law at Birkbeck University of London. He is an ADR Group accredited mediator, equality adviser to the English FA Premier League, a Trustee of ADD (Action on Disability and Development), a member of the Rights & Justice Committee of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Advisory Board of the Wellcome Trust and a Fellow of the British American Project.

Rahila Gupta is a freelance journalist, writer and activist. She is a longstanding member of Southall Black Sisters and chair of The Nihal Armstrong Trust, which provides grants for cutting edge equipment and services to children with cerebral palsy. Her poems and books include: From Homebreakers to Jailbreakers: Southall Black Sisters in 2003; Provoked, the story of a battered woman who killed her violent husband and she co-wrote the screenplay of the film which was released in 2007; Enslaved, on immigration controls, was published in 2007. She has also produced a play, a monologue in verse, Don’t Wake Me: The Ballad of Nihal Armstrong. Her articles are published in the Guardian, New Humanist, New Internationalist and openDemocracy among other magazines, journals and websites. She and Beatrix Campbell are collaborating on a book, Why Doesn’t Patriarchy Die? She visited Rojava, Northern Syria in March 2016 as part of the research for the book. Her epic poem Rubáiyát of Rojava was performed at the Prima Donna festival 2019.  She has edited and contributed to Turning the Page (2019), an anthology of writings by the Southall Black Sisters support group.  

Rupert’s programmes are supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture

You can support us on Patreon

Brilliant Imperfection Amidst the Pandemic

2021, March

A talk by Eli Clare streamed on 5 October 2020 introduced by Yates Norton as part of Rupert’s 2020 programmes on care and interdependence. 

In this talk, through poetry and storytelling, Eli Clare explores the brilliance of disabled and chronically ill people in a world that considers us disposable.

White, disabled, and genderqueer, Eli Clare lives in the U.S. in occupied Abenaki territory (also currently known as Vermont) where he writes and proudly claims a penchant for rabble-rousing. He has written two books of creative non-fiction, ‘Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure’ and ‘Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation’, and a collection of poetry, ‘The Marrow’s Telling: Words in Motion’, and has been published in many periodicals and anthologies. Eli speaks, teaches, and facilitates all over the U.S. and Canada at conferences, community events, and colleges about disability, queer and trans identities, and social justice. Among other pursuits, he has walked across the U.S. for peace, coordinated a rape prevention programme, and helped organize the first ever Queerness and Disability Conference.

Rupert’s programmes are partly funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.

This talk is further supported by the project ‘Who Cares?’ co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

You can support us on Patreon

Disability Arts, Critical Inclusions

2021, March

A talk by Eliza Chandler streamed on 13 November 2020 moderated by Yates Norton as part of Rupert’s 2020 programmes on care and interdependence. 

Eliza Chandler gave an interactive talk and workshop based on her independent curatorial practice in disability arts. Working through various examples of disability arts and ‘crip cultural practices’ (practices of creating, programming, and experiencing art and culture born out of disability communities), she animated different frameworks through which to engage access praxes, including Open Access (Papalia, 2019), critical access (Hamraie, 2017), access is love (Mingus, 2019), decolonial approaches to access (Jimmy, 2020) and taking up access as a ‘scyborg’ in the institution (La Paperston, 2017). 

Throughout, and in conversation with participants, this discussion thinks through how practicing and curating disability arts can be taken up as a political project through which we can rework the institution and move towards collective, intersectional and world-making projects for institutional and cultural transformation. 

Eliza Chandler is an Assistant Professor in the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University. Chandler’s research brings together disability arts, disability studies, and activism, including her co-directorship of Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life and is a practicing curator.

Rupert’s programmes are partly funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.

This talk is part of the project ‘Who Cares?’ co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

You can support us on Patreon

Class Relations

2021, March

A talk by Emma Hedditch streamed on 5 May 2020 introduced by Yates Norton as part of Rupert’s 2020 programmes on care and interdependence. 

In this talk, Hedditch discusses the legacies of rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs) and cooperatives as a radical form of organisation around wealth distribution and self-determination. Hedditch has been involved in an organisation called Coop Fund for the past three years, in which the members try to uphold these legacies. For working-class people, these forms of organising are a method by which to pool resources alongside the oppressive, competitive and violent conditions of capitalism that we are exposed to and part of. Artists, alongside other workers, can involve themselves in these forms of organising, as part of their practice. 

Emma Hedditch is an artist and educator living in New York. Their work focuses on daily practice, materiality, and distribution of knowledge as political action. They have been a member of the Cinenova Working Group (1999 – present) The Copenhagen Free University (2001 – 2008), No Total, a site for performance (2012 – 2017), and Coop Fund (2018 – present). Their exhibition projects include +49 30 243459-53, KW Institute for Contemporary Art (2019), Finesse, Wallach Art Gallery, (2017), and Claim a hand in the field that makes this form foam, Outpost, (2016). Their video work has screened at the Oberhausen Film Festival, The Elizabeth Foundation, Goethe Institute, MACBA, Galería Macchina, Artists Space, and Haus der Kunst. Hedditch teaches video production and post-production at The College of Staten Island and Cooper Union.

Rupert’s programmes are partly funded by the Lithuanian Culture Council.

You can support us on Patreon

Doing disability differently: access as collective care

2021, March

A talk by Jos Boys streamed on 16 July 2020 introduced by Yates Norton as part of Rupert’s 2020 programmes on care and interdependence. 

In this talk Jos Boys shows how The DisOrdinary Architecture Project, of which she is co-founder, has been exploring ways to critically and creatively rethink how we ‘do’ disability within architecture and design, as well as within society more widely. 

Disability studies, disability arts and disability activism have long been critiquing assumptions about what kinds of body-minds matter –– who gets valued and who gets marginalised –– in order to challenge and remake conventional access and inclusion ‘solutions’. Rather than being seen as a problem for architecture, disability turns out be a creative generator for design; a powerful critique of what is assumed ‘normal’; a vital means for troubling everyday design assumptions about space and its occupancy; and an enabling mechanism towards new collective and emergent forms of social, spatial and material equity. Jos asks how built spaces can change when we reimagine access and inclusion, not as a merely functional ‘add-on’ to existing buildings and cities, but as a form of collective care for which we all have responsibility.

Dr. Jos Boys is Course Director for the MSc in Learning Environments at The Bartlett UCL in the UK, with a research focus on creative and inclusive educational spaces both within and beyond the academy. She set upThe DisOrdinary Architecture Project with disabled artist Zoe Partington in 2008. Its mission is to promote activity that develops and captures models of new practice for the built environment, led by the creativity and experiences of disabled and Deaf artists. Jos is author of Doing Disability Differently: an alternative handbook on architecture, dis/ability, and designing for everyday life (Routledge 2014) and editor of Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader (Routledge 2017). 

Rupert’s programmes are partly funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.

You can support us on Patreon

Re-drawing the Economy: Re-claiming Interdependence

2021, March

A talk by Katherine Gibson streamed on 25 June 2020 introduced by Yates Norton as part of Rupert’s 2020 programmes on care and interdependence. 

This talk outlines how art has helped to ‘take back the economy’ all over the world. Gibson draws on projects where communities are building ethical economies that foreground and honour interdependence.

Katherine Gibson is a Professorial Research Fellow in the Institute for Culture and Society at the Western Sydney University. She is an economic geographer with an international reputation for innovative research on economic transformation and over 30 years’ experience of working with communities to build resilient economies. Her books include The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy (Blackwell 1996) and A Postcapitalist Politics (University of Minnesota Press, 2006). Her most recent books are Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities, co-authored with Jenny Cameron and Stephen Healy (University of Minnesota Press, 2013), Making Other Worlds Possible: Performing Diverse Economies, co-edited with Gerda Roelvink and Kevin St Martin (University of Minnesota Press, 2015), Manifesto For Living in the Anthropocene, co-edited with Deborah Bird Rose and Ruth Fincher (Punctum Press, 2015) and The Handbook of Diverse Economies (Edward Elgar, 2020) co-edited with Kelly Dombroski.

Rupert’s programmes are partly funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.

You can support us on Patreon

Hope, Endurance, Time

2021, March

A talk by Milda Januševičiūtė, Lisa Baraitser, Samantha Lippett, Sarah Lippett, Yates Norton & Martin O’Brien streamed on 8 December 2020, hosted by Samantha Lippett as part of Rupert’s 2020 programmes on care and interdependence. 

This talk will draw upon the practices of five artists and researchers whose work intersect through themes of hope, endurance and time and often in connection to chronic illness. As the world moves in slower time, what can be learned from the experiences of those who have already endured rupture and lived through alternative experiences of time?

Milda Januševičiūtė is a young-generation artist and cultural sociologist living and working in Vilnius. Her area of interest covers interdisciplinary projects exploring topics of care, health care, hope, and resilience. The artist’s autobiography, sociological observations, and everyday life experiences blend into her reflections on the differences across the cultural concepts of hope and care, conveyed through her films.

Martin O’Brien is an artist, thinker, and zombie. He works across performance, writing and video art in order to examine what it means to be born with a life shortening disease. His writing also reflects on the experience of illness and the ways in which other artists have addressed it. A book of writings about Martin, Survival of the Sickest: The Art of Martin O’Brien was published in 2018 by the Live Art Development Agency. His performance work has been shown throughout the UK, Europe, US, and Canada. His writing has been published in books and journals on performance, art, and the medical humanities. Martin is currently lecturer in Performance at Queen Mary University of London.

Samantha Lippett is a London based curator and lecturer whose practice is rooted in alternative approaches to education and community building. She is interested in the radical potential of interdisciplinary collaboration and especially in relation to themes of health, housing and ethics of care. For the last four years she has coordinated a programme of residencies and outreach projects with emerging and international artists for South London Gallery on three local housing estates and lectures in Cultural & Contextual Studies at Middlesex University. Currently she is working with Kamilė Krasauskaitė and Palanga Street Radio (LT) to establish the cross-cultural research platform COMMON GROUND that will bring together friends and colleagues working in community practice and often in the context of contemporary art.

Sarah Lippett is a UK based artist and writer. Her first graphic novel Stan and Nan won the Quentin Blake Prize for best narrative at the Royal College of Art and was published in 2016 by Jonathan Cape and became a Guardian bestseller and 2016 book of the year. Her most recent autobiographical work A Puff Of Smoke was published in 2019 by Jonathan Cape and supported by an Arts Council England Literary Grant, to high critical acclaim becoming a Guardian graphic novel of 2019, featured on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and earning accolades from The Herald, The Observer and the Rare Disease medical community. Alongside her long form works, Lippett has also created socio-political reportage works that focus on the stories of diverse communities living in locations across the UK and overseas. She lectures and participates in talks and discussions on drawing, narrative and non-fiction writing both in the UK and abroad.

Lisa Baraitser is Professor of Psychosocial Theory in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. She was awarded a collaborative award (with Laura Salisbury) from the Wellcome Trust for ‘Waiting Times’, a five-year cycle of research on temporality and care in health contexts (mental health treatment, the GP encounter, and end of life care). She is the author of an award-winning monograph, Maternal Encounters: The Ethics of Interruption (2009) and Enduring Time (2017), and the editor of A Feeling for Things, a collection of essays on the work of Jane Bennett (forthcoming). She is co-editor of the online, peer-reviewed journal Studies in the Maternal. She is co-convener of ‘Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics’ (MAMSIE), an international interdisciplinary research network on motherhood. Lisa is a psychoanalyst in practice in London.

Yates Norton was the curator of public programmes at Rupert.

Rupert’s programmes are partly funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.

This discussion was supported by the project ‘Who Cares?’ co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

You can support us on Patreon

Geomantic Slumber

2021, March

A talk by Lisa Robertson streamed on 27 October 2020 introduced by Yates Norton as part of Rupert’s 2020 programmes on care and interdependence. 

Lisa Robertson’s lecture ranges across the neo-baroque, the cosmology of melancholy, grief, queer medicine, dogs, naturecultures, ontological choreography and related topics (perhaps also perfume and weeds) considering texts by Djuna Barnes ‘Nightwood’, Severo Sarduy ‘Cobra’, Walter Benjamin ‘Trauerspiel’ with a cameo by Dürer.

Lisa Robertson is a Canadian poet who works at the intersections of essay and verse, research and invention, the terrestrial and the utopian, the plastic arts and literature. Her most recent books of poetry, published in Toronto by Coach House Books, are 3 Summers, Cinema of the Present, and Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip. Nilling, a book of prose essays, appeared in 2012 with Book*Hug, and this year a novel, The Baudelaire Fractal was published. Currently she is undertaking research on troubadour love poetry as resistance culture, for ‘If I Can’t Dance’, in Amsterdam, as part of an ongoing study of medieval lyric called wide rime. She lectures, performs and teaches across Europe, in Canada and in the USA, and lives in a small village in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region of France.

Rupert’s programmes are partly funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.

The exhibition ‘Other Rooms’ is further supported by Vilnius municipality, and is a part of the project ‘Who cares?’ co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

You can support us on Patreon

Care-full listening

2021, Kovas

A talk by Mikhail Karikis and Salome Voegelin streamed on 10 December 2020 introduced by Yates Norton as part of Rupert’s 2020 programmes on care and interdependence. 

In this talk Artist Mikhail Karikis and writer Salomé Voegelin discuss themes of care and attentiveness, communication and the body, and consider how listening may open plural and possible, and maybe even seemingly impossible ways of being in the world. What is the relation between listening and care? What kind of ethics arises from listening to the invisible, the unrecognisable or the silenced?

Mikhail Karikis is a Greek/British artist based in Lisbon and London. His work in moving image, sound, performance and other media is exhibited in leading contemporary art biennials, museums and festivals internationally. Through collaborations with individuals and communities located beyond the circles of contemporary art and in recent years with children, teenagers, young adults and people with disabilities, Karikis develops socially embedded projects that prompt an activist imaginary and rouse the potential to imagine possible or desired futures of self-determination and potency. Centering on listening as an artistic strategy and focusing on themes of social and environmental justice, his projects highlight alternative modes of human action and solidarity, while nurturing critical attention, dignity and tenderness.

Karikis’s solo exhibition Ferocious Love is currently on show at Tate Liverpool, UK. Other exhibitions of his work include 2nd Riga Biennial (2020) Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2016), 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014), Mediacity Seoul/SeMA Biennale (2014), 2nd Aichi Triennale (2013), Manifesta 9 (2012) and Danish Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale (2011).

Salomé Voegelin is Swiss/British artist, writer and researcher engaged in listening as a socio-political practice. Her work and writing deal with sound, the world sound makes: its aesthetic, social and political realities that are hidden by the persuasiveness of a visual point of view. She writes essays and text-scores for performance and publication. Her latest book ‘The Political Possibility of Sound’, Bloomsbury 2018, articulates a politics that includes creativity and invention and imagines transformation and collaboration as the basis of our living together. Voegelin’s practice engages in participatory, collective and communal approaches. She uncurates curatorial conventions through performance; convenes, with Mark Peter Wright, the regular cross-disciplinary listening and sound making event Points of Listening. Voegelin also collaborates with David Mollin (Mollin+Voegelin) in a practice that reconsiders socio-political, architectural and aesthetic actualities and sites through the possibilities of sound, things, voices and texts.

Voegelin is a Professor of Sound at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, and currently also holds the Vertretungs Professur Sound Studies at the Hochschule für Bildenden Künste in Braunschweig, DE.

Rupert’s programmes are partly funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.

This talk is part of the project ‘Who Cares?’ co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

You can support us on Patreon

Anti-individualism, empathy and solidarity: toward a collective common creativity

2021, March

A talk by Oli Mould streamed on 2 March 2020 introduced by Yates Norton as part of Rupert’s 2020 programmes on care and interdependence. 

In this talk Oli Mould investigates how many of the current ills of this world – climate change, xenophobic nationalism, mental ill-health epidemics and the rest – can be blamed on a rampant self-interest that has fuelled a growth in neoliberal and populist rapacious capitalism. However, self-interest is a socio-political ideological tool that has been carefully nurtured over time, and if understood, can be broken down to create societies that oppose the injustices of capitalism. This talk aims to chart a history of self-interest, and posit alternative ways of thinking the self that are more empathetic and collective, and in so doing chart a possible way of thinking creatively about how we can build a commons that is in stark opposition to the current neoliberal capitalist mode of organising society. 

Oli Mould is a human geographer at Royal Holloway, University of London. His work is focused around creativity, capitalism and the commons, in a way that reinvigorates the first, to critique the second, and help build the third. He has published two books, Urban Subversion and the Creative City (Routledge, 2015) and Against Creativity (Verso, 2018). He has also published academic papers on topics such as brutalist architecture, the Calais Jungle refugee camp, urban subcultures and urban theory. He regularly contributes to The Conversation and OpenDemocracy and has work published in CityLab and Prospect. 

Rupert’s programmes are partly funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.

You can support us on Patreon

Visual art and disability, care and interdependency

2021, Kovas

A talk by Tom Shakespeare streamed on 22 April, 2020 introduced by Yates Norton as part of Rupert’s 2020 programmes on care and interdependence. 

In this talk, Shakespeare discusses ways of thinking and visualising disability, care and (inter)dependency. Shakespeare will put these ideas in the context of the disability rights movement. He explores works by Christine Borland, Mona Hatoum, Lucy Jones and others. If disability is a social relationship, how can we represent it? If disability and care have been wrongly conceived, how can we challenge and move past those historical exclusions?

Tom Shakespeare is an ethicist and social scientist, who has also made visual artworks and radio programmes, and contributed to public policy on disability and genetics. He was formerly chair of Arts Council, North East, and a member of Arts Council of England. He was formerly a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. He is Professor of Disability Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His books include Disability Rights and Wrongs and Help.

Rupert’s programmes are partly funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture

You can support us on Patreon