Underwater photograph close up of underwater coral

An Ocean of Patience

I’m absolutely delighted to share a project close to my heart…

An Ocean of Patience is a film-poem and dance performance, and a creative response to the provocation “How can organisations and institutions integrate more inclusive practices to benefit communities through platforming disabled* artists?

Captioned video

Embedded video: underwater image of coral fronds overlaid with text ‘An Ocean of Patience.’ Watch on YouTube (opens in new tab)

An Ocean of Patience is a collaboration between Cristophe Phillips and me, Jeda Pearl Lewis. I’m a disabled Scottish-Jamaican poet and writer based in Scotland, UK and Cristophe is a Jamaican dancer and choreographer who is Deaf.

Read more About An Ocean of Patience (PDF, includes poem text and credits) or listen to the audio.

With funding from the Momentum micro-grants program, I undertook research and development and, together with dancer Cristophe Phillips, created a response that is a call to action.

Research and development included:

  • Speaking with Liliane Rebelo, who shared her wealth of experience in platforming and working with disabled artists in Brazil (check out her most recent production – multi-arts festival www.culturainglesafestival.com.br)
  • Speaking with Noel Jordan (Festival Director) and Fiona Ferguson (Creative Development Director) at Imaginate
  • Reaching out to arts organisations in Jamaica, including Kingston Creative and Oneika Russell founder of Tide Rising Art Projects
  • Reaching out to organisations working with disabled communities in Jamaica
  • Connecting with Jamaican Deaf Community Leaders and Mary-Angela Fatta Jamaica Association for the Deaf
  • Working with Jamaican Sign Language Interpreters, Denque Wedderburn, Donett Ledford, Hughen Spencer

Once paired with Christophe Phillips, we communicated our experiences and thoughts about inclusion and provided feedback to one another as our artwork developed to create An Ocean of Patience. We hope you enjoy it and that it also challenges preconceptions and negative stereotypes of people from disabled and Deaf communities.

Many thanks to everyone involved!

Get involved

This is the first in a series of duets – I hope and plan to build upon this outcome by gathering together more disabled, D/deaf, blind, neurodiverse and/or chronically ill artists who are based in different countries and from different artistic disciplines, to explore their experiences as artists from marginalised communities and co-create artistic responses.

If you are a disabled* artist, or represent an arts organisation, you can register your interest here.

* ‘Disabled’ includes people who are D/deaf or hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired, neurodiverse, chronically ill, and/or have physical, learning, cognitive, or sensory disabilities and/or mental health conditions that have a long-term effect on day-to-day activities. The social model of disability says people are disabled by the attitudes, structures and barriers in society. It is a civil rights approach to disability.

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