The Wheeler Centre
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Digital Futures: New Media, Storytelling and Disability
‘Whatever it is that you do, think about how you can make what you do more accessible. Because I guarantee you there’s ways.’ – Erin Kyan
It’s no secret that the digital media industry has been the site of rapid and surprising change in recent decades. The market for screen content of all kinds – as well as screen-adjacent storytelling like podcasts – is hungry for fresh stories and new, authentic voices. And as platforms multiply and consolidate, the boundaries between mass market and niche have softened.
What does this mean for marginalised voices – especially writers, creative professionals and performers with disability – who’ve traditionally been underrepresented in the media mainstream? And – how about marginalised audiences?
In this panel conversation, Adolfo Aranjuez, Eliza Hull and Erin Kyan discuss how artists with disability across the globe are engaging with the new digital order, and making entertaining and innovative work. Does the changing market offer new possibilities for access and creative expression? And how can we bring forward a future where people with disability have meaningful and lasting careers in the media arts?
Adolfo Aranjuez is editor of film and media periodical Metro and editor-in-chief of sexuality and gender magazine Archer. He is also a freelance writer, speaker and dancer. Adolfo’s nonfiction and poetry have appeared in Meanjin, Overland, Right Now, the Manila Review, Cordite and elsewhere, and he has worked with and performed for various organisations including the Melbourne Writers Festival, Midsumma, ABC TV and the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Eliza Hull is a producer and musician based in Castlemaine, Victoria. She has written music for American TV shows Awkward, Teen Wolf and Saving Hope, and is currently writing the film score for Australian feature film Swallow.
Most recently, Eliza produced an eight-part podcast series, We've Got This, on parenting with a disability, for the ABC – as well as a podcast series on disability and relationships for ABC RN.
Eliza is currently producing the TV episode ‘And Then Something Changed’, about the experience of having a disability as a child; this will be aired on ABCME in November 2019 as part of the Disrupted initiative. Eliza is a proud disabled woman, with a physical disability. She is the Access and Inclusion Coordinator for Arena Theatre.
Erin Kyan is a disabled, queer and trans writer, performer, and podcast producer. He first moved into podcasting in 2017 with the Love and Luck podcast, a fiction podcast about the LGBTIQA+ community in his home town of Melbourne, which has been critically acclaimed by podcast journalists and has been a finalist in the Australian Podcast Awards two years in a row.