Common Ground- An Inclusive Art Platform at the MedKel 2016
The inclusive art event was organized by the students and the staff of the Department of Disability Studies to promote a more socially inclusive culture through the MedKel exhibition in September 2016 .
During the last medical exhibition in 2011, we initiated a program to inform both the public and health care professionals by bringing together individuals and groups in Sri Lanka who are becoming models of inclusion to present their opinions, skills and speak for the right to inclusion.
This year too, the Department of Disability Studies organized forum titled “Common Ground”, which became a platform to discuss about equality, disability rights and inclusion in Sri Lanka. Among the invitees, there were individuals, family groups and community based groups from around Sri Lanka, to present their challenges and successes in dealing with disabilities. Our aim was to have an inclusive arts platform and create an area within the MedKel exhibition for inclusive spaces for all children and adolescents to participate in learning, play and art work during the exhibition. The presentations included fun based activities for children, art events, photographic exhibition, talks, videos, performances, educational dramas and public discussions on how disabilities are perceived differently and the need for a rights-based attitude in Sri Lanka where participation is encouraged in keeping with the ratification of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) by the country in February 2016.
Some of the invited speakers and performers who joined us in the event:
- Ms. Lasanthi Daskon-Attanayake- Talk on disability rights in Sri Lanka
- Mr. Cyril Siriwardane- Speech on disability- related terminology and accessibility
- Mr. Janith and Mr. Ishan from the University of Sri Jayawardanepura- Presentation on different perceptions on disability
- ‘Ranaviruwo’ orchestra of the Ranaviru Sevana, Ragama
- Kosala Dullewa and his team from Kosala Dullewa Foundation
- Thidora drama theatre
- Ms. Miranda Hemalatha’s dancing group of ‘Diri Daru Piyasa’
- ‘Ape Patau’ from Mirigama
- Nisansala school for children with disabilities, Ja-ela
- Mr. Buddhika Ekanayake and his musical group
- Educational drama by BSc SHS students on disability-related social stigmatization
- Magic performance by Mr. Magic
- ‘Riddi’ stage drama by the Department of Performing Arts, Faculty of Humanities, University of Kelaniya
- Cultural performances by the undergraduate students of Faculty of Science, Eastern University
- Classical music performance by artists from University of Kelaniya and University of the Visual and Performing Arts, Colombo