VIBE International Symposium – Open Call for Participation

Vibe logo

“VIBE: transforming ableism through the arts” is a two-day international symposium, happening on December 1st and 2nd in Montréal, Québec, hosted by Concordia University’s Department of Communication Studies and the Critical Disability Studies Working Group (CDSWG) of the Milieux Institute’s Participatory Media Cluster. This symposium will gather artists, activists, and academics to share differing perspectives on Deaf and disability arts, advancing the next chapter of intersections between critical disability studies, Deaf studies, the arts, and culture. We mobilize the pop culture term “vibe” to draw attention to the intensity, intimacy, and relationality human beings engage in through artistic practices. VIBE foregrounds the affective politics of disability and Deafhood, and the potential of research-creation to shift attitudes that subtend discriminatory behaviours in our society. The symposium is an invitation to those working from critical perspectives within disability, Deaf, neurodiversity, mad, illness, crip, race, sexual and other social justice movements to discuss and work through key issues of accessibility, inclusivity, and art. Through performances, research presentations, and workshops,VIBE will map out new ways of understanding relationships between the arts and Deaf and disability communities. It will explore how the arts and culture can make vital contributions to the transformation of discriminatory attitudes toward Deaf and disabled people.

Some questions to consider (or not)

  • How can and does art transform and challenge ableism?
    How can we, as artists, academics, and activists, rearticulate and crip ways of experiencing and engaging in arts that value inclusivity and accessibility?
  • How can disability contribute to a rethinking of art practice, culture and pedagogies?
  • How can creative practise, activism, and engaging in DIY movements (such as maker-culture) open up opportunities for Deaf and disabled people to engage in radical self-expression?
  • How do creative approaches to technology contribute to new ways of experiencing and making art for and by Deaf and disabled artists?
  • What is at stake for different Deaf and disability artist communities, and how is their work offering new approaches to these challenges?
  • How can we address the relative lack of attention given to Indigenous Deaf and disabled artists?
  • How do practices of Deaf and disability arts intersect with issues of languages, capacities, race, class, age, sexuality and gender?
  • What is the quality of relationships between Deaf and disabled artists, activists, and academic researchers?

This call is open to everyone. If interested, please send a proposal of any works, performances, videos, research, and/or other contributions you would like to lead/present/perform/screen. Please note all presentations/performances/films should be no longer than 15 minutes.

The proposal can be submitted in English, French, LSQ or ASL

A written text including a 50-80 word biography and a 250-word abstract
A signed video including a 1-minute biography and a 3-minute abstract.

Please send your proposal to with the subject line “VIBE submission” by June 15, 2018.