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BBC commissions new work by deaf, neurodivergent and disabled artists

(Ian West/PA)
(Ian West/PA)

The BBC has commissioned 12 deaf, neurodivergent and disabled artists to create new film and audio content this summer.

They will form part of the Culture In Quarantine initiative, which was introduced by the BBC in a bid to help people have access to the arts amid the pandemic.

Silent World, a short music film by deaf musician Signkid, and Blind-sided, a comedy drama by blind comedian Jamie MacDonald, are among the projects that have been commissioned.

Lamia Dabboussy, BBC head of arts, said: “This batch of commissions from artists across the country showcases the breadth of inspiring work we’ve all missed experiencing over this past lockdown year.

“I’m thrilled that, as part of Culture In Quarantine, these pieces will be brought to life across BBC platforms.

“It’s imperative that D/deaf, neurodivergent and disabled professional artists are supported to carry on making brilliant work, as the constraints and continuing effects of this pandemic threaten to silence their vital creative voice.”

Aisle by Ellen Renton and Jess Fig, a short film exploring the disabled experience of going to the supermarket during the pandemic, has also been commissioned.

BBC Stock
The content will form part of the BBC’s Culture In Quarantine series (Ian West/PA)

Dance films Complexity Of Skin and Pandemic Parenting: Pandemonium, animation The Cat, The Mouse And The Sausage, comedies Earth To Alice and Face It will also form part of the series.

Films Louder Is Not Always Clearer, How To Thrive In 2050! 8 Tentacular Workouts For A Tantalising Future!, Hen Night and music collection Spectrum Sounds complete the line-up.

The programme was established by a partnership between BBC Arts, Arts Council England, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales and Creative Scotland to mark the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act into law.

Darren Henly, chief executive of Arts Council England, said: “Culture and creativity have been lifelines for many of us throughout the pandemic, so we’re excited to support these commissions, which will encourage D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists to explore their experiences of lockdown, and ensure audiences can continue to enjoy even more brilliant cultural work across BBC platforms.”

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