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a graphic images of layers of rock and sand and a measuring table at the side and bottom

Image by Jon Adams as part of Look About

Director's Blog

Early autumn has been a busy time for the Accentuate programme, with many projects celebrating all they have achieved to date with public events. Esther and Emma have been pleased to attend much of what’s been going on.

uScreen, the groundbreaking film-making resource led by Screen South, held a fantastic launch event at the BFI Southbank in London, which even got a “tweet” by Stephen Fry. Please see our featured project section for more information.

Creative Landscapes held a wonderful series of events and exhibitions over the Heritage Open Day weekend in both Gosport and Hastings.  Some activity included a Sign-along-Choir in Gosport and an exhibition of work by Sally Booth and Lynn Weddle in the newly opened Stade Hall in Hastings.  You can view a short film about Creative Landscapes in Hastings on our website.

The Mandeville Legacy project continues to go from strength to strength and the website  was launched at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, at an event attended by many of those whose stories and memories form part of the website’s content. This website is a living archive and will continue to capture and hold the story of the development of the Paralympics for the benefit of all. It is an inspiring resource and will be invaluable to all those with an interest in the unique heritage of the Paralympic Movement. Another strand of the Mandeville Legacy project is called Driving Inspiration.  Driving Inspiration brings together children and young people with Paralympians and Disabled Artists. This has been incredibly successful and inspiring for all involved and we were delighted that Chris Holmes MBE came to visit one of the Driving Inspiration schools, Bittern Park, to see this work in action.  We are also pleased to introduce Chris Holmes as our Accentuate Ambassador.

The launch of the Paralympic ticket sales was marked in the South East with an event at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. Accentuate projects were on the agenda, with Jon Adams delivering an insightful and fascinating lecture as part of his work on the Look About project (and as Accentuate’s Geologist in Residence!) Rachel Gadsden and Deaf Men Dancing also launched the New Outdoor Commission which will provide a high-profile contribution to the Paralympic Torch Relay Celebrations and be the flagship Accentuate games-time project.  Please see our featured project section for more detail.

Emma took the opportunity to present at the Southampton University Access to Disability Sport Conference, co-presenting with Kristina Veasey Our View Core Group Member.  Esther was delighted to attend the opening event of Look About, at Artsway, in the New Forest.  Look About is the innovative mapping project led by our Geologist in Residence and Our View member, Jon Adams.

We were also delighted that Campaign to be me! headlined the opening of Arts 4 Every 1 in Wycombe. Sign Dance Collective has been collaborating with over 100 deaf and disabled young people during their international tours to Turkey, Greece and Kent in the South East of England in order to make this piece.
Sign Dance Collective asked young people to think about what was important, what they would change about their world and what they wanted to say to those in power. Amongst a massive array of diverse ideas there was an overwhelming common theme: all the young people wanted to feel as if they could be themselves and be accepted within their own and an international society. They wanted difference to be celebrated and to feel them, as individuals had a valued contribution to make. These ideas have been combined to form ‘The Campaign to Be Me!’.

Led by young actor Jacob Casselden (mentored by Sign Dance Collective’s Isolte Avila), who recently starred in The Royal Court’s ‘Tribes’, they have now devised a piece of sign dance communicating the young people’s ideas and values. Alongside this, Artistic Director David Bower created a film, which documents the responses and work of the young people who took part and gives a platform for young people from all over the globe to share their ideas, thoughts and dreams. Campaign to be me! is part of our larger project Campaign! led by Creative Junction.

Esther was also pleased to attend a Legacy Trust Lead Officer day in Bristol.  It was great to get the opportunity to meet other people who are delivering Legacy Trust Programmes as well as start discussions around how we can share learning and the legacy.

As you can see from this list of events things are certainly hotting up as we move towards 2012 and this is just some of the activity going on within the Accentuate programme.
Another important piece of news is we are sad to say Emma Slawinski is no longer with the Accentuate programme as she has recently left to work at Compassion in World Farming, so we wish her all the best in her new role.  Esther Fox is now working full time on Accentuate with extra support from the Screen South team and continued expertise and guidance from Sarah Dance, Executive Director of Special Projects at Screen South.

Esther Fox

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