C O M M U N I T Y   P R O J E C T S

Inspired by a refusal to be silent, and a history of being ignored, 5 learning disabled artists take us on a wondrous adventure underground.

A goddess, a baby, a bird, an eater and an escapist guide us through a maze-like institution, growling to be heard, and waiting for the revolution that is forever promised.

As they tear back the walls to their lives, past and present spin together in a powerful expression of what it feels like to have a learning disability in today's world.

Over two years, MADHOUSE re:exit has built on the legacy of Mabel Cooper, a resident of a long-stay hospital for people with learning disabilities, who pressed the button that blew up one of the last of these institutions in the UK. Now, award winning theatre company Access All Areas returns with a fantastical, disruptive, immersive experience that explores what this history means today.

Click here to visit the MADHOUSE gallery.

Madhouse, My House? was a three-year digital and creative learning programme to accompany the Performance Company's MADHOUSE re:exit production.

The project explored the institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities from the introduction of long stay hospitals in 1913 to present day treatment units. The project aimed to ensure as wide an audience as possible, of all different abilities, could engage in the performance and surrounding activities. 

Over the three years we ran a series of film, performance and digital advocacy projects. Partners on the project included the University of East London's RIX Research and Media, the Open University, University of Reading, Hackney Museum and Books Beyond Words in a number of exciting ways. 

 

RIX Research and Media worked with seven of our members to create an accessible website exploring institutionalisation and recording the overall project.

Six of our members researched and created an accessible and interactive exhibition alongside the University of Reading at Hackney Museum that runs from 2nd February until 20th May 2017.

We ran a series of Madhouse History weeks to engage groups of adult with learning disabilities in the exploration of this cultural history through performance, advocacy and the creation of a non-word book with Books Beyond Words. 

We worked with Open University’s Social History of Learning Disability Research Group to create:

  • an education pack for all ages and abilities that explores institutionalisation and life in long-stay hospitals. This pack was launched at Parliament's Portcullis House in November 2016

  • a guide to Making Heritage Accessible

Madhouse, My House? was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

iFuture My Future' the 2013 Official Anti-bullying film created in association with the Anti-Bullying Alliance and the National Children's Bureau. The film follows Harry, an aspiring young filmmaker who gets bullied in school shattering his self esteem and crushing his aspirations of making anything. During this time Harry strikes up an interesting friendship with Mia who helps him become the filmmaker he wants to be. The film also features Max the magician, who poses as Harry's conscience, and follows Harry around as he contemplates his next move. Does Harry use his skills and the technology he has to tell his unfortunate story of being bullied, so to alter his future, or does he ignore his situation?

What happened to J? created in Association with the Anti-Bullying Alliance and the National Children's Bureau became the official Anti-Bullying film. This project was created with testimonials from the young victims of bullying in Hackney. This story is about a young girl who has aspirations to become an actress. We follow her through her daily life in school where she is bullied every day by jealous schoolmates. This causes her to act inappropriately amongst friends as well as becoming discouraged from following her dreams. As the film draws to a close J is forced to make a decision which could change not only her life, but also the lives of others. What decision will she make?

Created in association with Lewisham Speaking Up and Advocate we created 10 short films with victims of Hate Crime. These victims some with learning difficulties and disabilities helped develop their true experiences into stories. We then took these stories and created 10 short films. 

Created with the School of the blind in Cape Town, South Africa. This art piece was developed with a group of blind children. Two of those children were the principle actors in the video piece as well as working closely with the local community in Athlone, Cape Town