Speakers

 

Michelle Akanji (*1989, Winterthur) is a cultural publicist and part of the general coordination of Gessnerallee in Zurich. From 2015 to 2020, she was Head of Communications of Kunsthalle Zürich and initiated the Löwenbräu Lebt! performance festival. She studied journalism at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences and cultural publicity at Zurich University of the Arts. As a freelance author, she publishes articles and podcasts about post-migrant society and won multiple radio and podcast prizes, for example for her Vaterland feature.

 

Islam Alijajis a passionate inclusion politician and social entrepreneur, as well as a disability lobbyist. Together with committed accomplices he creates innovations for an inclusive society in which everyone can develop their potential fully. His second great passion is to spend time with his wife and their two children. https://islamalijaj.ch; https://tatkraft.org

 

Diana Anselmo born in ’97, is an artist currently majoring in Theater and Performative Arts at IUAV University of Venice. During the bachelor’s degree in Sociology, begins to know the world of Festivals by working in it - and won’t leave it anymore. Diana Anselmo is an activist for anti-ableism and intersectional trans-queer feminism, Vice-President and Co-Founder of Al.Di.Qua.Artists (ALternative DIsability QUAlities Artists) and among other things, the youngest member of the British Council’s Cultural Advisory Board.

 

Saša Asentic is a choreographer, performance maker and cultural worker. In 1999 he initiated Per.Art group of disabled and non-dsialbed artists in Novi Sad (Serbia). Asenti? works internationally in the field of contemporary dance, performance and disability arts. His artistic practice is based on the principle of solidarity, and on resistance against cultural oppression and indoctrination.

 

Marilu Cali was born in Sicily. She completed her training in Italy and Geneva. After gaining a bachelor's degree in communication, she opted for a master's degree in cognitive science. While studying, she became interested in problems connected with language and cognition. This culminated in her working at Geneva University for two years. A passion for the arts led her to work at the Grütli, initially as a communications assistant, then in public relations. She is currently in charge of inclusion within the theatre.

 

Tanja Erhart, an Austrian living in London, defines herself as a crip – disabled and chronically ill – dancer, cultural anthropologist and pleasure activist. She has performed all over the world in pieces by Claire Cunningham, Michael Turinsky, Candoco Dance Company etc., dedicates herself to accessible dance training, teaches and presents at different events. Currently Tanja is researching the movement practices of her 3 bodyminds – with wheelchair, one-legged or three-legged with her crutches. Together with Katharina Senk, she is working on the interactive and intersectional dance piece j e n g a, which delves into the depths and the desires of building and falling apart together. www.tanjaerh.art

 

Rebekka Fässler pursued German studies, theatre studies and economics at the University of Bern and continued her studies in the areas of culture and communications. During her professional career, she has held various positions at private and public institutions active in the promotion of cultural activities, such as in the canton of Schwyz, the committee of the conference of cantonal cultural officers, the national dance network Reso, the umbrella foundation Corymbo and the Forum for Culture and Economics. Starting August 2021, she will co-lead the Culture Department at the City of Zurich.

 

Nicola Forster is a social entrepreneur who co-founded the Swiss Think Tank on Foreign Policy (foraus), the Staatslabor and Operation Libero. He is currently the President of the Swiss Society for the Common Good (SSCG) and of the Science et Cité Foundation, Co-President of the Zurich canton section of the Green Liberal Party and a member of the Swiss UNESCO Commission. Nicola is a trained lawyer and works as an expert in citizen participation and as a moderator. Curly-haired and with a penchant for bow-ties, he is a passionate bird watcher and loves concerts and theatre.

 

Isabel Garcia is a political scientist and public relations consultant. Since May 2010 she has been a member of the Zurich district council for the green liberal party (GLP), and since February 2021 she is also part of the Canton Zurich council. Her political work focuses on the issues of education; digitalisation; children’s, youth and immigration politics, integration and participation. Isabel Garcia is married, has an adult son and lives in Zurich’s district 3 – she is a huge football fan and loves to read books of every genre.

 

Alice Giuliani is an artist active in the field of dance and performance. In recent years she has collaborated as a performer with various choreographers; Marco D'Agostin, Irene Russolillo and others. She has a double bachelor degree from the DAMS of the University Roma Tre and from the dance department of the University Paris VIII.In 2019 she participated in the training program in performing arts PACAP 3 Forum Dança in Lisbon.From 2020 she will attend the ISAC master at the Arba-Esa Academy in Brussels.

 


Alexandrina Hemsleys 
creative practice lands in the fluid spaces of dance, choreography, writing, facilitating and advocacy. Their interests are both enduring and in expansive states of flux – or just in connection/relation to the processes within life and within living. They turn towards the sensorial, the bodily, the multiple subjective positions of self – and self in intimate relation to self and other-selves – as ways to find breath and voice amidst the unjust and inequitable. Alexandrina has recently founded her own organisation Yewande 103 that formalises the past 10+ years of her work in the contemporary dance field as a choreographer, performer, writer, mentor and educator. 

 

Lua Leirner (*1982) was born in Allgäu, Germany, and grew up multiculturally in France, Brazil and Germany. Since 2003, she lives and works as a graphic designer, photographer and museum guide in Basel. Lua Leirner is severely hard of hearing, multilingual – and speaks Portuguese, German, English and communicates in Swiss German and German sign language. As an artist, she performs in dance- and theatre productions in Switzerland and Germany.

 

Christoph Meneghetti is a project manager at the Christoph Merian Foundation. He has many years' experience in promotion management and consultancy for cultural events. After studying literature and drama, he trained in NPO management & law at the CEPS in Basel and in migration-sensitive action at the FHNW School of Social Work. He is an ideas generator, co-initiator - with Wildwuchs - of the "Zugang zu Kultur" (Access to Culture) project and engages in cultural promotion, focussing on access, diversity and cultural participation.

 

 
The Swiss choreographer, lecturer and culture manager Lea Moro studied at the Accademia Teatro Dimitri (BA in Physical Theatre), the LABAN Centre in London (diploma in Dance Studies) and the Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (BA Dance, Context, Choreography) and, since 2019, has been developing the long-term project series "Sketch of Togetherness". Her artistic and choreographic works have been presented, for example, at Festival Moving in November in Helsinki, Festival Uzès Danse in France, Sophiensaele Berlin, Dublin Dance Festival, Kaserne Basel, Tanzhaus Zurich, Dampfzentrale Bern, Arsenic Lausanne, ImPulsTanz Vienna (FM4 Fan Award), Festival Tanz im August Berlin and Théâtre de Vanves. Her work has received multiple awards and been supported, for example, by the City of Zurich's culture working scholarship (2017) and the canton of Zurich's advancement award (2018).

 

Sophia Neises is a Berlin based freelance performer, theater educator (MA University of the Arts) and disability rights activist. Her artistic practice ranges from leading process-oriented dance and theatre projects with people of diverse lifestyles and experiences of discrimination to collaborations as a performer in dance performances. Since 2018 she explores in several contexts how to find access in dance for a non-sighted audience. She questions audio description as a traditional access service and establishes more its inspirational potential. She identifies as a visually impaired artist and encourages in her work to value people's individual styles of perception to the highest degree.

 

Alex Oberholzer studied mathematics, literature and art history (MA). He worked as a film director at Radio24 in Zurich and in communications at BSV Bern. He is president of the international festival "Look & Roll – Behinderung im Kurzfilm", on the program commission of the Allianz Cinema in Zurich and Basel and on the board of Theater Hora as well as the advisory council of Cybathlon (ETHZ) and Theater Spektakel. Every month he is a guest in Moritz Leuenberger's Bernhard Matinée.

 

Perel is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is centred on disability and queerness in relation to care, consent, sexuality, and personal and historic trauma. Their work includes performance, installation, criticism and curatorial projects. Perel asks, “How do we move across space and time with respect to our collected histories?” Their work has been shown for more than a decade at numerous galleries, theatres and performance spaces internationally.

 

Lulzim Plakolli (Luli) discovered their passion for theatre in 2016 and has since been part of the ensemble for three pieces by Jörg Köppl, together with some of their housemates from the Mathilde Escher Foundation: «Beat me Mich» (2017), «Mutter Motor» (2019) und «Der Pilz im Patent» (2020), and Luli also performed in several editions of the «Future Clinic for Critical Care» by Jeremy Wade, Nina Mühlemann und Edwin Ramirez. Luli recently founded the association «Kein Rollenspiel», which will offer workshops that are predominantly directed towards the participation of disabled people. The association is open to more members.

 

Edwin Ramirez is a performance artist and stand-up comedian from Zurich. Since his comedy career began in the summer of 2015, he has appeared on all of the major comedy stages in German-speaking Switzerland and on Swiss TV. From the summer of 2018 to the end of 2019, he was part of the Future Clinic for Critical Care, a social and cultural art project with events at Gessnerallee Zurich related to care and care work. In October 2020, he was part of the play STAR MAGNOLIA at Theater Neumarkt. Since the beginning of 2020, he and Nina Mühlemann have headed the CRIPTONITE project, a crip-queer event series. CRIPTONITE is part of the Freischswimmen Network 2020–2021

 

Dalibor Šandor is a performer and member of Per.Art group of disabled and non-dsialbed artists. He is interested in video games, fantasy and horror genres, self-advocacy and in reflecting on the social reality of people with disabilities in Serbia. In 2021, he created a lecture performance „Something very special“ in collaboration with Saša Asenti?, Marcel Bugiel, and Frosina Dimovska. In 2019, he realized his idea for a performance „We are not monsters“ in collaboration with Xavier Le Roy, Olivera Kova?evi? Crnjanski, Alexandre Achour, Scarlet Yu, Saša Asenti? and Per.Art group. He actively speaks in public events, television and radio, as well as digital media, about his artistic work and Per.Art. https://www.facebook.com/per.art.arts.inclusion/

 

Alessandro Schiattarella (he/him) was born in Naples. As a performer he has collaborated with several choreographers, including Maurice Bejart and Marco Goecke. In 2014 he created his first solo "Altrove" which was then selected in the international platform Aerowaves Twenty17. Since 2015 he has been developing choreographic projects and workshops in the field of disability. In 2020 he completed a Master of Fine Arts at the HGK FHNW in Basel. For more information visit www.schiattarella.info

 

Katharina Senk is an Austrian dance professional and lives in Vienna. She likes to be called Senki. Senki has performed (amongst others) in pieces by Doris Uhlich, Florentina Holzinger and Georg Blaschke. In her artistic work Katharina connects her interests in post-humanism, feminism and social justice with her knowledge in the areas of dance, movement and martial arts. Together with her colleague Tanja Erhart, she dedicates herself to the research of pleasurable and intersectional practices of their dance work together. www.katharinasenk.com

 

After studying art in Geneva, where she developed a style combining video and installations, Nataly Sugnaux Hernandez was a teaching assistant at the new HEAD performance centre. In parallel to this, she collaborated with various scenic art companies and founded the Morris Mendi association, which aims to accompany and support artists in creating their works. She was in charge of administrative management, production and dissemination at Cie Yan Duyvendak for 13 years. Since 2018, she has co-directed the Grütli, the centre for the production and dissemination of performing arts in Geneva.

 

Jo Verrent believes that ‘different’ is delicious not divergent, embedding the belief that diversity adds texture, turning policy into action. Jo is senior producer for Unlimited - working to get disabled artists seen, discussed and embedded within the cultural sector globally. Since 2013, Unlimited has provided £4.7 million + to over 400 disabled artists through commissions, awards and support. Working with Sarah Pickthall, she runs SYNC, examining the interplay between disability and leadership. Jo is a Clore fellow, is on the board of the Global Disability Innovation Hub, The Space and the Arts Council England Northern Area Council, and gained an MBE in 2021.

 

Noa Winter is currently co-leading the Berlin-based project Making a Difference, which supports disabled and deaf dance artists. As a curator and dramaturg, their main interests are the self-determined working methods of disabled, tauber and chronically ill artists, aesthetics of access and questions of anti-ableist curating. Most recently they co-curated the symposia Exploded Times, Mad Spaces - Disability Arts & Crip Spacetime and Owning Spaces – Conversations and Actions from Bed.