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Liverpool, 12 juli 2012

The Flag of Compassion at DaDaFest 2012

It was a great joy to be able to help to remount Ine Gevers fabulous Niet Normaal Difference on Display exhibition as part of 2012's DaDaFest. In a DaDaFest context one of the key piece for me was Rini Hurkmans’ project "Flag of Compassion".

At it's Biennial festival, DaDa, through the medium of art and performance, attempts to open a dialogue about what it means to be deaf and disabled in a worldwide context in the 21st Century.

For me a key debate over the past few years has been inspired by Robert McCruers essay "Queering the Crip and Cripping the Queer". This paper turns stereotypical responses to Cip and Queer communities on its head by suggesting that rather than viewing these communities as the huddling together for warmth of the dispossessed and marginalized, we should in fact, through their sophisticated models of independence through interdependence, see them as role models for positive societal structures. In a world, with its veneration of rampant individualism and corporate greed that is hurrying to hell in handcart, it’s a point we would do well to take heed of.

Hurkmans’ work with its removal of the symbol of The Flag from narrow nationalistic boundaries, that are invariably based on empire and colonialism, and restoring it as a rallying point for the creation of new communities based on compassion, dignity and mutual respect chimes perfectly with this positive alternative vision of all our futures.

Garry Robson
Co-Curator Niet Normaal: Difference on Display Liverpool
As part of DaDaFest 2012


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