Ireland’s first annual disability arts festival Disrupt announced for March

Disrupt Disability Arts Festival will take place from March 7 to April 20.

Split screen of portraits of three artists taking part in Disrupt Disability Arts Festival. Left is Suzanne Walsh, middle is AlanJames Burns, right is Yvonne Condon.
Image: (Left to right) @suz.walsh via Instagram, @AlanJamesBurns via X, Yvonne Condon via

Disrupt, Ireland’s first annual disability arts festival, is gearing up to take centre stage this spring. The event officially kicks off on March 7 and runs all the way through to April 20.

Disrupt is described as “a vibrant celebration of disability art, curated by and for the disability community”. While the festival’s full lineup will be unveiled on February 6, organisers have teased the inclusion of theatre, dance, literature and visual arts, all delivered through a range of accessible engagement formats in relaxed spaces.

There will be a Performance Programme from March 7 to 11 and a Visual Arts Exhibition and Online Programme from March 8 to April 20. The exhibition, entitled Distinct, explores the climate crisis through the perspective of disability. Curated by AlanJames Burns, it will platform new and reformulated works from 11 artists, namely Cecilia Bullo, Yvonne Condon, Richard Forrest, Michelle Hall, Vera Klute, Ruth Le Gear, Jane McCormack, David Parnell, Aisling Reina, Katherine Sankey and Suzanne Walsh.

The exhibition’s design creates what is described as “a balanced ecosystem,” with works turning on and off in sequence, giving each piece its own space, time and voice. The idea of the ecosystem is said to inform reflection on the challenges and difficulties of both disability and the climate emergency, while the visitor is also encouraged to think about interdependence, unity versus individuality, and the relationship between time and body. It will take about 25 minutes to explore in its entirety, with sitting and resting points provided.

Speaking about the exhibition, curator and Disrupt Co-Director Alan James Burns said, “Disabled people are routinely and systematically not considered in climate action projects, policies, and discussions, yet people with lived experience of disability have expert skill sets which are needed to address the climate emergency.”

Distinct will be accompanied by a hybrid programme of talks, performances, touch-tours and workshops, and will show in Temple Bar’s Project Arts Centre as well as online throughout the duration of the festival.


To stay up to date with the Disrupt Disability Arts Festival, and see the full programme on February 6, check out the official Instagram account.

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