Diversity in Art Spotlighted at International Disability Art Festival 2024 Press Conference

The press conference for the International Disability Art Festival (IDAF) 2024 was held at Dhaka Reporters Unity in Shegunbagicha, Dhaka. IID, the British Council, and Dhaka Theatre jointly organized the event to welcome audiences and media to join the IDAF, a festival that celebrates the resilience and creativity of artists with disabilities.  

In 2016, British Council Bangladesh and Graeae Theatre, london staged “A Different Romeo and Juliet,” initiating an effort to highlight disability within the arts. This endeavor expanded in 2019 with the launch of the “Disability Arts: Redefining Empowerment” project, a collaboration between Dhaka Theatre and the British Council. IID later joined as the policy partner. The upcoming IDAF, scheduled for April 26 and 27 at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, marks a decade of the DARE project’s efforts to empower artists and showcase artworks by persons with disabilities. 

The festival, spanning two days, will feature stage theatres by teams of disabled artists from eight national divisions, including an international performance titled “West Land—a Journey” by artists from Kolkata. The event will also include numerous panel discussions, seminars, and art gallery shows. 

Syeed Ahamed, CEO of IID, cited the legacy of renowned disabled artists like Beethoven, Sue Austin, and Stephen Hawking, whose talents flourished despite personal challenges. “This festival is a platform to amplify and support the artistic endeavors of disabled individuals globally,” said Ahamed. 

David Knox, Director of Programmes at the British Council, outlined IDAF’s agenda, focusing on disability representation, enhancing accessibility in the arts, and securing funding for disability arts initiatives. “Our goal is to make their artistic contributions accessible to all,” he noted. 

Nasiruddin Yousuff, director of Dhaka Theatres, highlighted the untapped potential of disabled artists who have lacked proper platforms. “This festival provides a stage for disabled artists from across the nation and neighboring countries to showcase their talents,” Yousuff added. 

In addition, at the press conference, a number of journalists, artists, and representatives from partner organizations were present. 

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