Revelland is an international collective that derives her value from the shared knowledge and experience of its partners. Konekt is our wonderful Belgian partner and they are radically committed to a society in which people with and without disabilities live, learn and work together. They work towards this through training, awareness raising and cooperation with the educational and working world.
For Revelland, Konekt put together the Inclusion Board consisting of young adults with cognitive disabilities. We strive to implement ‘nothing about us without us’ in our mission to make performing arts accessible to everyone. Konekt finds its foundation in the unconditional belief that people, organisations and practices flourish when the focus lies on what is going well. We always go for the strength-based approach. In this article, you meet three driven members, learn more about their role within the Inclusion Board and discover what they think is important.
Please introduce yourselves and share your favourite artist(s) with us!
Simon: “Simon Stevens, I live in Gentbrugge and my favourite artist is Julien Firmin.”
Jasmien: “Jasmien De Meersman, I live in a beautiful town called Schellebelle. I don’t have a favourite artist per se. I do like multiple music styles such as Disney, Pop, Rock, Flemish schlagers and Dutch music.”
Anthony: “Anthony Woock, I live in Mariakerke and I have a few favourite artists such as Coldplay and Rammstein. They’re completely different genres; I’m interested in many artists.”
What’s your role within the project and how have you experienced it thus far?
Simon: “It was mostly my rol to give my opinion and bring ideas to the tables regarding things to make music more accessible. It was very nice to see that everything came together at KRANKk’s performance. Everyone has talents and these were showcased beautifully. There were some dancers from Platform-K participating in the performance. We were also able to be part of this and give our feedback.”
Jasmien: “My role was to provide feedback on the various activities together with the Inclusion Board. From the music project to the new Revelland logos and towards concert organizers. I have also worked with KRANKk. For a new clip I was able to draw on a few rolls of film.
Within the frame of possibilities, due to corona restrictions, we found a way to make our voices heard. Both within the group [that forms the inclusion board], as with Revelland, KRANKk and the other artists.”
Anthony: “My role was to provide feedback on various issues together with the group. For example, we met last year to conduct a corona proof test of sensory stimuli. With the highlight of going together to KRANKk’s performance at De Singel.”
Can you share something about your favourite live music experience?
Simon: “I saw Bart Peeters at the Gentse Feesten a few years ago. His incredible energy made sure that it also radiated on me. This, together with the music, the live musicians and the Dutch lyrics – allowing us to sing along – made a super good combination.”
Jasmien: “Two years ago I went to a musical with music from Madness in Sint Niklaas. For example, they played ‘Our House’ and everything was played live. They were not professional singers and actors but enthusiastic musicians. This made everything feel more personal.”
Anthony: “I have so many. Four years ago I went to a Coldplay performance at the Koning Boudewijn stadium. The light show was beautiful in combination with the music of Coldplay.
I’ve also seen Stormzy live a few times and it’s always a super energetic atmosphere.”
If you could ask an artist to change one element to improve your experience of the live performance, what would it be?
Simon: “That they fully take into account the needs of people, and those with a disability. A program booklet with a clear sequence, translation if necessary… Many interactions and humor with the audience ensure a personal experience.”
Jasmien: “More inclusive performances, from the musicians to the music lovers. A lot can already change by co-creating. From start to finish. So that the music, lights, colours and the entire show can arouse the right emotions for everyone.”
Anthony: “When the artist can have complete freedom to walk through the entire room so that everyone has a chance to see the musicians well.”
Header photo taken by byWM – Kobe Wyffels with fellow dancers in KRANKk’s show RESET