Exploring themes of freedom, resistance, transformation and care, theatre company Ad Infinitum have created their first mini-festival featuring the premieres of short films from Deaf artists Matthew Gurney and David Ellington alongside shows from their portfolio, and talks, podcasts and Q&As. The online festival is happening wherever you are, and all completely free.
Ad Infinitum was commissioned by HOME as part of the first wave of Homemakers commissions in March, resulting in their first ever film A Small Gathering. The film will be shown for free for the first time in a watch party as part of the festival, and together Ad Infinitum and HOME have extended this invitation to create and share new work to an incredible array of artists and academics. These include three collaborators on Ad Infinitum’s Extraordinary Wall [of Silence]: Matthew Gurney, David Ellington and Dr Paddy Ladd.
Bristol-based David Ellington’s Liberty is a poignant and political BSL poem told in a new highly-visual, poetic and physically realised short film. This filmic poem draws on visual vernacular and BSL to examine what sets us apart, and what unites us. Matthew Gurney’s film Dr Voxoff’s Sign Language School for Hearing Children has reimagined the world as one where hearing people are in the minority. This dark, acerbic and witty dystopian film draws on experimental theatre and film making, and takes inspiration from the Silent Movie genre.
In In Search of Deafhood, award-winning author and activist Dr Paddy Ladd shares his investigation of Deaf Culture, history and sign language, examining why it is still under threat, and crucially, how it can benefit humanity at large.
Ad Infinitum will also be premiering three-part podcast Home From Home: Journeys Into Elderly Care and brand new zine which features interviews and personal stories of experiences of the elderly care system. The interviews from up and down the UK feature those whose relatives have experienced care and those working in the care system to paint a picture of how it works – and where it doesn’t work. These interviews conducted by co-artistic director Nir Paldi have been transformed into a listening experience by composer, performer and podcast maker Jennifer Bell, and the zine created by visual artist Naomi Gennery.
From their portfolio, Ad Infinitum are making available their resources from Extraordinary Wall [of Silence], their show charting the history of D/deaf oppression. The extensive resources include books, videos, articles, papers and much more, the sum of all their research into the fascinating and painful history explored in the show. Their show No Kids will also feature with a reading from across the pond by Philadelphia’s Inis Nua Theatre Company, and a Q&A with Nir and George.
Nir and George said, “We decided to create a new festival. Something we’ve never done before. A festival that could happen no matter what; a digital festival that has content you can enjoy for free, wherever you are; a festival that embraces the precarious situation we all find ourselves in for the foreseeable future. What we’re presenting is, approximately, where we are right now, as a company, as artists and freelancers, producers, general managers, interpreters… this is where we are at. While this space we’re building can be quite discombobulating for all it’s newness, it’s also strangely invigorating, inspiring, and it gives us hope.”
All content available from premiere until 1st November, full details available here.