Alt-Text “Potluck”: A website and workbook launch for Alt Text as Poetry
On Thursday, December 3rd, we celebrated the launch of a new website and workbook for Alt Text as Poetry, a multi-year exploration of the poetic potential of image description by Bojana Coklyat and Eyebeam alum Shannon Finnegan. The launch featured the project in new forms including a website by collaborators Laurel Schwulst and Taichi Wi (Abundant Blue), a hard-copy-version designed by Lexi Visco and Calvin Rocchio (Companion–Platform), and was marked by a newly commissioned composition by JJJJJerome Ellis. Here is a recording of the event.
A virtual art centered celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) – the JC ADA 30 Festival!! This festival is going to focus on innovation, creativity and the relationships between people that make access happen and not necessarily the law itself. The focus will be more about what has been possible since the signing of the law. The intention of this festival is to refigure the future of the arts in Jersey City in a way that engages truly everyone. So far, Art House Productions, Jersey City Theatre Center, and Golden Door film Festival will be using their platforms to showcase different events.
Events will include ASL, captioning, audio description and clear instructions on how to participate. Please contact Bojana at Bojanacoklyat@gmail.com for other accommodation requests or additional questions.
This festival will take place on several different online platforms and links to participate will be available closer to the date of the festival.
Deconstructing Disability Art July 22nd 2pm-3pm (Zoom)
What is the difference between ‘disability art” and “disability and art”? In this panel discussion, we will spend time getting to know disabled artists in the field of disability art. How does their way of experiencing the world inform their artistic practice? The purpose of this seminar is to Disability Art is any art (theatre, fine art, film, writing, music or club) that takes disability as its theme or whose context relates to disability. Disability Arts is an area of art where the content of the art takes on disability as its theme. Disability art is about exploring the conceptual ideas and physical realities of what it is like to be disabled concepts relating to the word. This panel will also address subjects such as “inspiration porn and why stories centering “the tragedy of disability” reinforce negative stereo-types.
Golden Door Film Festival Screening July 24th 12-6pm (Facebook Live)
12 short films centering disability and concepts associated with disability. This screening features films where disability experience is an integral part of the creative process, used to tall new stories.
Disability Justice: New Frameworks for Organizing Access in Jersey City July 23rd (Zoom)
The ADA is an important civil rights law for disabled people but it doesn’t ensure meaningful access. Meaningful inclusion and access only exist if organizations engage in disability justice. Disability Justice is a frame work that examines disability and ableism as it relates to other forms of oppression and identity (race, class, gender, sexuality, citizenship, incarceration, size, etc.)It was developed starting in 2005by the Disability Justice collective, a group of black, brown, queer and trans people including Patty Berne, Mia Mingus, Stacey Milbern, Leroy F. Moore Jr. Eli Claire and Sebastian Margaret. We will discuss ways arts organizations can implement “open access” and open up conversations regarding these topics. Our panel will include cultural producers, cultural organizers, and various members from the disability community.
Crip Camp Watch Party and Discussion hosted by Art House Productions July 26th 6:30-9pm (Zoom and Netflix)
“Down the road from Woodstock, a revolution blossomed at a ramshackle summer camp for teenagers with disabilities, transforming their lives and igniting a landmark movement.” After the movie, a panel consisting of local disabled advocates/activists, artists and leaders in the Jersey City Art community will discuss how this movement currently affects ours lives and what we can do to expand places where disabled people want to be.
Alt-Text as Poetry Workshop July 26th 1-3pm (Zoom)
Alt-text is an essential part of web accessibility, making visual content accessible to blind people and people with low vision. It is often overlooked altogether or understood through the lens of compliance, as an unwelcome burden to be met with minimum effort. How can we instead approach alt-text thoughtfully and creatively? This project reframes alt-text as a type of poetry and creates opportunities to practice writing it. This project has been featured in Hyperallergic , Art in America and Art News.
image credit: Mike DiFeo + unknown photographer
Festival created and organized by Bojana Coklyat with assistance by Kimberly Gardner (social media assistant)
Art, Activism, Education
Bojana, a disabled artist and disability activist, informs her work with both Disability Studies and Art Administration. She has interned at the Whitney Museum of Art, has attended the Kennedy Center Leadership Exchange in the Arts And Disability (LEAD) over the past several years and currently works at the Museum Art and Culture Access Consortium (MAC) leading a project on mapping virtual access in cultural institutions during COVID. Bojana uses her experiences living with low vision to inform her approach to art, activism, and scholarship. Sometimes this means curation centering on disability, advocating for wheelchair accessible doors in a gallery or researching what art access is like in other countries. In addition, she has used her knowledge and education to consult with organizations and institutions looking to expand or implement access for disabled people.