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Neurodivergent Leaders in the Cultural and Academic Sectors?

Tan, Kai Syng (2019) Neurodivergent Leaders in the Cultural and Academic Sectors? a-n The Artists Information Company, UK.

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Abstract

Why aren’t there female leaders who identify as neuro-divergent in the arts and academia? Who are the gatekeepers? What needs to change? This is the edited transcript of Kai's speech, which is her response to & provocation to the film Brisk/Risks, which is of a documentation of an open-mic event that she curated. The speech was part of the event Too Much or Not Enough: Neurodiversity and Cultural Production. This was part of the Birkbeck Arts Week, on 21 May 2019 at Birkbeck, University of London. The event consisted of a film screening and discussion with Kai, curator Alessandra Cianetti, and literary researcher Dr Sophie Jones. We explored the aesthetics of neurodiversity and the place of invisible disabilities in the cultural industries. The evening began with a overview by myself on the contested term ‘neurodiversity’, followed by the premiere of the film, Brisk/Risks, which explores risk-taking within and beyond ADHD. This was followed by further responses and provocations by myself, Cianetti and Jones and a discussion. Associated with the event was a 5-day exhibition of my #MagicCarpet in Room 106, which was also artist Vanessa Bell’s studio. Bell, sister of Virginia Woolf, worked in tapestries too. The exhibition and event were part of Birkbeck Arts Week 2019. There was also a podcast of the evening. This event is funded by a grant from the Birkbeck Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund. The republished transcript on Academia has had 290 readers as of 12/2019. Gallery & feedback: http://wesatonamat.weebly.com/2019-may-birkbeck.html

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