Tomorrow in London the incloodu festival opens its doors for the first time, celebrating Deaf identity and the best in Deaf arts and entertainment. We caught up with incloodu’s very busy director, Mark Bushell, as he prepared for this weekend’s big event.
So Mark, what’s on at incloodu?
We’ve got a packed programme of events. The day is full of entertainment for all ages with drama workshops, signed songs, films, live acts, an art exhibition and an all day-bar. In the evening, we have continuous live entertainment hosted by MC Rinkoo with dancers, DJs, VJs comedians and more. Its going to be a great day… and that’s not all!
Woah Mark, that’s a busy day! What was your inspiration for organising the festival?
It was inspired by the realisation that Deaf culture is marginalised by society as a whole, many people both hearing and Deaf are confused by what it actually is.
In many ways the phrase ‘Deaf Culture’ has become a very ‘politically loaded word’, incloodu Deaf Arts Festival offers an opportunity for people to express their interpretation of the phrase through creative work and also allows that work to reach an audience who would not usually see it. Hence, elevating awareness of the richness and diversity of ‘cultural’ output from those of us defined as ‘Deaf or Hard of Hearing’
That’s deep. What are you hoping to achieve?
A much wider societal understanding of Deaf experience and to establish London as a centre of excellence for Deaf Culture.
incloodu will continue to work in a catalystic way with Deaf creatives, running workshops on a regular basis which will generate work that can be showcased at the festival each year.
We already have Deaffest – what’s different about incloodo?
incloodu is aimed at everyone in society and is marketed accordingly. For example our name is incloodu, pronounced include you. We are extremely broad spectrum in our approach to promoting Deaf culture world wide.
What’s been the biggest challenge in organising the festival?
It has been a massive challenge generally speaking. Securing Rich Mix as the venue and attracting Arts Council and Tower Hamlets funding is probably top of the list though.
So, hard work done, now what are you most looking forward to?
I’m not going to name any artist particularly because they’re all excellent but honestly, I’m looking forward to Saturday and then a long lie in bed on Sunday!
I bet. It’ll probably be a very late night! Finally then, why can you never reach the middle of your back where the itch is?
I can, why can’t you?
incloodu opens tomorrow at 11am at the Rich Mix Arts Centre, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London. You can find out more and get tickets from the official website.
Questions put by Andy Palmer
Check out what our supporters provide: Phonak: innovative technology and products in hearing acoustics. Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support. 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services. Signworld: online BSL learning and teaching materials. STAGETEXT: theatre captioning. Ai-Live: Live captions and transcripts. Krazy Kat: visual theatre with BSL. SignHealth: healthcare support for Deaf people. Deafinitely Theatre: theatre from a Deaf perspective.Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support. SDHH: Deaf television programmes online. Sign Solutions:, language and learning. Lexicon Signstream: BSL interpreting and communication services. Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting. Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children. RAD Deaf Law Centre: and legal advice for Deaf people.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out 7 things deaf people want you to know!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- BSL Zone: TV programmes in BSL for the Deaf community
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Hearing Choices: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people