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Viewing entries tagged with 'diversity'

Not funny: Non-disabled actor playing a disabled person for laughs

Posted by Philip Patston on 18 December 2009, 11:38 am in , , , , ,

I received the following email from Tanya at Attitude TV and thought I'd share it and my reply. I'm interested in what others think so leave a comment, please.

Tanya writes:

I went to a performance of ‘The Sexy Recession’ last night at TAPAC in Auckland.  A cabaret/burlesque/skit comedy show with some outstanding, some average and one very disturbing performance.  A young man came out, moving amongst the tables in an electric wheelchair, signing (badly) amongst other things, about how his mind is willing but his body’s not able, hard to explain but a kind of Barry Whitesque croon with sexual innuendos...When I fist saw him I thought great, someone else in the show with a disability, then I was thinking it’s kind of in poor taste, then I realised he wasn’t actually disabled but he was making fun of being disabled and I was totally gob-smacked.

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The arts are for everyone

Posted by Philip Patston on 15 December 2009, 5:37 pm in , ,

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="211" caption="‘An estimated 660,300 people (17% of the population) reported that they experienced a disability in the 2006 Statistics New Zealand survey. That’s one in six people in New Zealand’ "][/caption]

For many people, it’s relatively easy to go to an arts  event but for disabled people, that choice is often made hard by all the barriers that can leave the doors to an arts event closed. Creative New Zealand in partnership with Arts Access Aotearoa has published Arts for All | Ngā toi mo te katoa. This guide provides practical and long-term ways for artists, arts organisations and venues to enhance their access, market their events to the disabled community and build new audiences.

You can download a pdf of Arts For All here. An accessible Word document is available here. You can also order Arts For All from the Creative New Zealand website or you can email Arts Access Aotearoa and order a copy. Arts Access Aotearoa’s website contains checklists, guidelines, information sheets and other useful resources, complementing Arts For All.

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Comic happy as laughs turn to tears

Posted by Philip Patston on 5 December 2009, 4:10 pm in , , ,

by Lindy Laird | 4th December 2009 | Northern Advocate

At a lunchtime poetry reading in Whangarei on Disability Awareness Day, Philip Patston told the audience he had recently denounced labels.

"So I'm no longer a gay, disabled, vegetarian comedian," he said yesterday.

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Ex-comedian takes poetry to Northland

Posted by Philip Patston on 30 November 2009, 4:19 pm in , , , ,

What do you call a comedian who doesn’t want to have to be funny anymore? A poet on a mission.

Gay, disabled comedian, social entrepreneur – and now poet – Philip Patston will perform his unique brand of poetry to Whangarei to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons on 3 December.

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Malcolm Gladwell on how we are all prone to autism

Posted by Philip Patston on 15 November 2009, 1:28 pm in , ,

In this 15 minute clip from the audio version of his book, "Blink", Malcolm Gladwell describes a fascinating experiment into the nature of autism and suggests, as I've always suspected, that we can all be a little bit autistic every once in a while...

Click here to listen »

(choose "Tiny" setting for quicker loading)

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We're changing in 2010...

Posted by Philip Patston on 6 November 2009, 7:49 pm in , , , ,


Here for more »

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Music video embraces diversity

Posted by Philip Patston on 5 November 2009, 8:44 am in , , ,

Kiwi Band Minuit has included over a thousand photos sent in by New Zealanders in their new single's video.

"Aotearoa", with the catchy chorus, "You and Me, we are a New Zealand", also features footage from NZ's national libraries and film archives.

I sent in a snap of me on the beach in Ahipara and it features at 3:16 on the YouTube clip. Click the pic to see the whole video.

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Sweetness - Joe Gerstandt | Our Time To Act

Posted by Philip Patston on 7 October 2009, 6:51 am in , ,

Via ourtimetoact.com

Diversity, sugar and Twitter - a sweet mix. Interesting article:

Want to know what my work is really all about?  Sweetness.  With a little help from one of my favorite authors, I will share an example of what I am talking about.

Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen walk into a bar…

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Defining complex ideas simply

Posted by Philip Patston on 3 October 2009, 3:13 pm in , ,

Complex emotions and concepts like fear, love, diversity and wisdom can be hard to understand and are often misunderstood. Here are some of my own simple definitions, that I use in my coaching work with individuals and team building with groups, to explain these complex ideas in a straight-forward and creative way. 

Fear: Experience with the absence of love
Anger: Fear of loss of control (for self or others)
Sadness: Fear of being alone (for self or others)
Depression: Unexpressed fear (or love)
Hatred: Fear with perceived threat
Love: Experience with the absence of fear
Joy: Fully-expressed love
Diversity: Synergy of similarity (commonness) and difference (uniqueness)
Wisdom (1): Realised Experience, Attributes and Learning (REAL)

Wisdom (2): Realised Expression After Love (REAL)



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Dear Journalist...

Posted by Philip Patston on 7 September 2009, 10:28 am in , , , , ,

Thanks for your email and for taking the time to engage in this discussion about language and disability. I take the view that language and words are symbols of thought - as and of themselves, they mean nothing. But, wonderful as we are as human beings, we bring alive these strings of letters by assigning sound and - more importantly - meaning. I am proposing new language because I think the meaning we attach to words like "disabled" and "disability" is, at worst, inaccurately negative and comparative and, at best, out-of-date.

The new terms I am proposing may, as you say, sound woolly, I agree. In some contexts they sound downright strange and, as I say in my post, I'm not saying they are the right terms. But I think changing these words is no different to changing words like "negro" to "African American" or "homosexual" to "gay" (I mean, how woolly is "gay"?!) These changes reflected a change in consciousness driven by the civil and gay rights movements and indeed, changes in the self-perception of the people described/symbolised by the words. I think this change is happening for disabled people.

Change feels uncomfortable until it becomes usual. I'm sure there were many in the media who resisted the change of pronunciation and more liberal usage of Maori words, saying they were difficult to pronounce and even that people would not understand. But media people and their audiences learned to pronounce and understand the new language and now it is hard to remember otherwise. In no way am I advocating coyness, but I am questioning the emotive melodrama the media like to associate with unique function and experience. I am happy with words like Deaf and blind, and describing people's use of hearing aids or wheelchairs. But I would contest words like "problem", suffering", "afflicted" – they are judgements. I'm happy to say I use a wheelchair – because I do – but I'm not confined, bound or otherwise limited by it. I just use it.

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