Touchbase members donate The People’s Report to Councilor Laura Davison
Submitted to the Folkestone Herald
Protest songs help explain what Folkestone looks like to people with disabilities.
Following a Â£ 2,000 grant from Creative Lives, composer Anna Braithwaite and members of the community group Touchbase Care set out to advocate for an alternative and inclusive future for the city center.
Funding was part of the charity “Be creative and make a difference” campaign aimed at showcasing creative activities that have social ties at heart.
Together, Anna and the members of Touchbase created “The People’s Report” detailing the challenges faced by adults living with a disability in Folkestone.
The aim of the research was to rethink how Main Street is used and to examine what needs to change.
Anna Braithwaite said:
âOne only has to look at the lack of accessible public toilets for people with disabilities to realize that many people in our community have no choice but to limit themselves to the time they can spend on their main street.
In addition to interviews with Touchbase members, the report contains a collection of protest songs.
Anna said: âWe have brought together local change, local action and cabaret.
âBy the end of the project, we had written an entire song – with each of the Touchbase Care members contributing via Zoom, Facebook, and in-person recording sessions. I never thought I would be able to record a song this way, but we did it together – and it was great to see how well everyone got into it.
The next goal is to generate the necessary funding to bring the songs to a live audience.
âWhen you hear the song, you will hear what life is like for people with disabilities,â said Anna.
âIt’s about them expressing their anger and taking control with wit and humor. It’s about their experiences of public space and how difficult it can be to walk into a cafe – or see a top in a store window, but knowing that it will be impossible to get there. enter.
Project research was used by artist Rachel Jenkins to inform her triennial work, “Fortune here” at the Rotonde site, and the Touchbase members plan to perform their entire cabaret show at Strange Cargo’s upcoming Cheriton Light Festival.
Learn more about Touchbase Care in rue Tontine and read The People’s Report here.
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