Hacks For The Future

We’ve spent the last two weeks in Inverness working on our Hacks For The Future residential with eight disabled young creatives and two amazing associate artists, Heather Marshall and Aby Watson. We’ve been supported by a great team from Eden Court Theatre and from National Theatre Scotland who commissioned us to come and work in the Highlands as part of Futureproof, a creative celebration marking Scotland’s Year Of Young People. We’ve shared conversations, skills, sticky buns and lots of laughter.

When we started we had no idea what would happen but we trusted in the creativity, talent and imagination of the young creatives and our team – and they definitely didn’t let us down.

Photo by: Ewen Weatherspoon

It’s been brilliant getting to know a new group of disabled artists – they include musicians, poets, illustrators, performers and writers. Together we designed an interactive event for children, young people and adults.

Photos by: Paul Campbell

Yesterday was the culmination of all our work. We invited disabled and non-disabled people from across the Highlands to come and join us for the final event – four hours of multi-sensory installations, performances, activities and discussions.

Hacks for the Future was playful and powerful – I felt so proud of everyone involved. One of my favourite moments was the final parade – we danced through Eden Court’s spaces and took our positive messages to the streets outside.

Photo by: Paul Campbell

Our work here in Inverness has made me feel incredibly positive about the future of disability arts in Scotland and across the UK. Watching how naturally the young people supported each other has filed me with optimism.

Hacks For The Future felt powerful because it connected young disabled people together to bring about positive creative change – putting them firmly in the driving seat.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg and I call on arts organisations everywhere to start investing in young disabled people, and to look for ways to connect them to each other and to new creative opportunities.

This is how we’ll build a more inclusive future together.

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