Reclaiming Disability in Co-creation 

Platform: Online (via Zoom)
Number of Tickets: 30
Date: 8 September 2021
Times: 6.30 – 8 pm
Artist: Kelsie Acton
Accompanied by BSL interpreters

Kelsie Acton and Harsha Balasubramanian will explore co-creative strategies for reclaiming knowledge contributed by disability communities.



The integration of marginalised perspectives into mainstream culture is emerging as an important part of co-creation. However, in this workshop, we ask whether this borrowing from marginalised folks always brings along the unique histories, aesthetics, and causes defining their communities?

Some technologies that now receive widespread attention, such as audio books and AI assistants, have roots in disability communities. Yet, mainstream audiences are not called upon to recognise the often ongoing role of disability communities in building these technologies, let alone how to champion their perspectives. Drawing on different critical and creative encounters with disability, Kelsie Acton and Harsha Balasubramanian will explore co-creative strategies for reclaiming knowledge contributed by disability communities. How can we reassociate these tools with disability history and culture, transforming their significance in society at large?

The conversation will be opened out to the audience Q&A.

About the Speaker:

Kelsie Acton | @kelsieacton

Kelsie is a neurodivergent access consultant, researcher and choreographer. She is currently the Inclusive Practice Manager at Battersea Arts Centre, the world’s first Relaxed Venue. Her PhD research into the accessibility of timing in disability dance rehearsal was funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada and she recently completed a residency at Siobhan Davies Dance Centre (UK). She is a member of the Critical Design Lab, a multi-national, multi-institutional collective focused on access, disability and design. As an access consultant she has worked with the Edmonton International Fringe Festival (Canada), the Citadel Theatre (Canada), Canada Dance Assembly, Caisson and Friends (UK), Hot Coals Productions (UK), Scarborough Museum Trust (UK) and Freelancers Make Theatre Work (UK).

Harshadha Balasubramanian |

Harshadha is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology, UCL, collaborating with the School of Communication at the Royal College of Art. Her research addresses the role of imagination and sensory experience in social and technological transformations. Harshadha’s current project, funded by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership, explores the emerging experiences and practices of performing artists who are adopting virtual reality (VR). Previously, while at Cambridge University, she investigated how vision was being reimagined by audio describers and sight-impaired theatregoers in the West End. This research has been shared in multiple practitioner-facing workshops and academic publications.

Interloops: Reframing Collaboration

Caraboo Projects are really excited to invite you to ‘Interloops’. The series attends to what are often cast as obstacles in the relationships between collaborators, asking how they may actually be sources of creativity. Inspired by the innovative co-creative practices that have emerged in the last 18 months, these interactive workshops invite you to reframe the ethics, politics, and aesthetics of collaboration with the critical perspectives of artists. If you collaborate in any industry, we welcome you to bring along your experiences to this potlatch of reflections.

Interloops has been produced by Harshadha Balasubramanian and Caraboo Projects

This programme of events has been generously supported by Arts Council England

Access Information:

This talk will take place on Zoom, using video & audio, and you can participate during the Q and A session after the talk (either by voice or text chat). There will also be a BSL interpreter on this workshop.

The workshops will be recorded and available to view via our website following the event.

Main Event Image Description:

A photo of Kelsie’s work: Iris Dykes and Kaylee Borgstrom (credit to Marc Chalifoux) performing in Help! I usually describe this as: Kaylee, a heavier white woman with multi-coloured hair balances on her shoulders, her feet suspended in the air. Iris, an older woman with grey hair who uses a power chair gestures with both hands raised to Kaylee’s feet. They are both lit by warm light against a dark background.