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Resistance

photo of table with nazi flags

Photo taken from the set of Resistance

Roaring Girl Productions tells dao about the making of Resistance - a dual-screen moving image installation that will tour galleries and museums from autumn 2009. The work launches on 17 November as major part of DaDaFest 2009, at the Novas CUC Gallery, Liverpool.

The starting point for Resistance was the Nazi programme of mass-murder targeting disabled people and crucially disabled people's resistance to it. Through the exploration of a neglected period of history the installation raises critical questions for today. What does this history mean for all of us now, disabled and not? How do we learn from it to shape a future that delights in diversity?

In 1939, Hitler authorised Aktion-T4, a programme of mass-murder targeting the nation’s disabled people, transporting them from institutions to killing centres. By the close of war, more than quarter of a million disabled people had been slaughtered.

When writer-director Liz Crow first learnt the detail of Aktion-T4, she knew it was an area she wanted to represent in her creative work. “It’s an episode of history that is virtually hidden, yet the values that underpinned it still echo through disabled people’s lives today. What stays with me is the part that disabled people played in bringing Aktion-T4 to a close. How do you resist when you’re incarcerated in an institution? Yet some people did. It’s a reminder of how crucial disabled people’s voices are to directing change, then and now.”

Ten years on, Liz discovered the story she wanted to tell. Thanks to a fellowship from NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) Fellowship and additional funding from Awards For All and South West Screen, she was able to get the production off the ground.

In late 2007 she was joined by Producer Lou Birks. Lou: “I saw this project as a vitally important part of our collective history, and an essential vocalising of our silence as survivors. First and foremost Liz cast me as Elise, but as a relatively experienced producer and political ally, I just couldn’t resist. I’ve admired Liz’s work for a long time - anything she does is quality on every level and I wanted to be a part of that too.”

Resistance has an integral programme of participation, with audiences invited to record their own experiences as part of the installation, shaping the work as it moves from venue to venue. Linked events will run alongside and within the installation space, encouraging further public engagement and providing material for educational programmes through talks, workshops, live art and performances.

Resistance is suited to a wide range of venues - from galleries to disused warehouses, empty hospital wards to community spaces. Please contact info@roaring-girl.com if you are interested in your venue being included on the tour.

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