What is the difference between not having a hand to reach out to when lost in a crowd and “feeling safe”? What might it feel like to be left out in the cold while only some are allowed to bask by the community fire, warm their feet and sip soup?

Is inclusion the difference between in and out, alone and together, risk and safety? Is it the smile of an orphaned child who has never known abandonment or loss in her being? Is inclusion the difference between a patch of sunlight in a courtyard and the warmth of the wholesome winter sun in wide open spaces that belong to all? Is it the difference between presence and a deep yearning for connection?

Through this blog, we hope to open conversations about inclusion – what it means to different people: artists, writers, activists, teachers, homemakers; people working with special needs groups, people “not allowed” to work, people aspiring, seeking, searching for answers; people burning with passion to include everyone in endless spaces of wellbeing. This blog will carry video and print interviews, profiles, book extracts, movie reviews, book reviews and other reflections on inclusion.

Why is inclusion so crucial? How does it impact the health and well-being of society? What are the challenges on the path towards inclusion? What could we do to overcome them? The one year Certificate Course on Arts Practices for Inclusion (API) has inclusion at its very heart. Hence these conversations will inform the trajectory of the course. Add your thoughts to this medley – the more diverse the voices, the richer the symphony.

The Artist is Present (continued)

When I heard Bindhumalini perform songs from different regions in India, I had a sense that her audience, like me, were eager to find out where she would take us to next. The irony of travel restrictions was not lost on any of us. Yet the collective imagination of...

ABT Virtual Certification Ceremony 2020

Twenty-three Art Based Therapy practitioners were awarded certificates of practice in a virtual certification ceremony today. These are practitioners who have spent nine months of bonding, togetherness and belonging; working selflessly for the benefit of children...

The Artist is Present

Yugoslavian artist Marina Abramović’s performance art, particularly a piece titled ‘The Artist is Present’ is a striking example of an artist’s presence and empathy for her audience. The piece was presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2010. In this...

Revaluating meanings of presence and community through the Arts

The arts are a wonderful way of connecting with others and offering a sense of community in times of social distance. Connecting and maintaining communication through the arts can be such a powerful way of telling others we are there for them, just as others are such an important part of us. The extended lockdown is an opportunity to build inclusion in a time of social distance.