Activated Arts

Join presenter Anthea Williams and outstanding artists and arts workers from right across the creative spectrum for entertaining, enlightening and provocative discussions about art, culture and disability. Each program looks at a specific topic, bringing in guests to unpack that topic in creative and surprising ways, while discussing their work and arts practices. The program also includes a round-up of relevant news and events. So switch on and transform your understanding of art, culture and creativity. Activated Arts is produced in partnership with Accessible Arts, NSW’s peak arts and disability organisation. This program is recorded every four weeks and broadcast fortnightly on 2RPH.

Episode #7 Activated Laughs

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This episode Anthea chats with stand up stars Alistair Baldwin and Madeleine Stewart about the advantages of their disabilities and the healing powers of hippotherapy. They also reveal what tickles their funny bones"I was born with one arm," says Stewart, "though I often tell people that a shark bit it off." Stewart lives in Campbelltown and has been mentored by Adam Hills. Sometimes, however, she says that like Van Gogh, "I cut it off as a symbol of artistic expression." As for Melbourne based Alistair, he maintains that all comedy can be broken down into two categories: "Sensible Venn Diagrams and Absurd Lists."

Alistair baldwin 4
Together they discuss what it's really like to be disabled from birth and whether it increases your sense of humour or simply spares you the indignity of being exploited as a sex object. They also reveal what they'd like to see change in the entertainment industry.

In Access and What’s On, Hanna talks about Andi Snelling’s Adelaide Fringe show Happy Go Wrong, and ultra-accessible multi-art project Reasonable Adjustment. Anthea highlights Alistair and Madeline’s upcoming events, Wheelhouse and the Wheelhouse Online show at the Melbourne Comedy Festival with Madeline; and Growing Up Disabled in Australia, Laughing at the News and Queerstories, with Alistair as part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Activated Arts goes to air every fortnight and this episode can be first heard on Friday 9th April at 2.30.

Alistair Baldwin

Madeline Stewart

Episode #6 - Back to Back

Presenter Anthea Williams talks with two members of the Back To Back ensemble, Simon Laherty and Ingrid Voorendt. Back to Back is an award-winning theatre ensemble from Geelong featuring work devised and performed by people with disability. The company has toured extensively all around the world with work that questions assumptions about what is possible in theatre but also the assumptions we hold about ourselves and others. The show will also explore Restless Dance Theatre’s new show GUTTED and a newer form of audio description available via

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Ep 6 Back to Back Transcript

Episode #5 - Casting, Representation and Sia’s Film Music

When the trailer for Sia’s film Music debuted, the disability community was generally horrified. The film stars Maddie Ziegler playing a character on the autism spectrum, despite not being autistic herself.

Sia bit back asking people to see the film before they judged it. So that’s just what we did. This week I speak with Sophie Smyth and Bridie McKim, two brilliant actresses who identify as living with disability, Sophie with autism. We discuss the film, casting and the broader ramifications of representation.

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Ep 5 Casting Represention and Sias Film Music Transcript

Episode #4 - Value Shift

Anthea talks with artist Hanna Cormick. In 2015 Hanna Cormick was living in Paris and working as a physical performer with a background in dance, circus and interdisciplinary arts.

Now Hanna is a wheelchair user and due to a number of acute allergic reactions she spends much of her time at home and must wear a full-face mask when in public. But her arts practice has deepened and the values behind her work have radically shifted. This month we spend a full episode talking to this remarkable artist.

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210114 Activated Arts Ep4 Value Change Transcript

Episode #3: Embracing disability

Anthea talks with Asphyxia, writer of the remarkable novel Future Girl, and Sarah-Vyne Vassallo, choreographer, director and Artistic Director of Integrated Performance Company Murmuration. They discuss how their work and practice changed when they embraced Auslan or living with disability. Following the interviews, Anthea and Liz discuss the brilliant films that cast people with disability at the moment in the What's On section. Download the transcript here: Activated Arts Embracing Disability Transcript

Asphyxia is a writer, visual artist, circus performer and musician. Visit:

Sarah-Vyne Vassallo is a choreographer, director, performer and consultant. Visit:

Original broadcast date: Friday 4 December

Episode #2: Writing the Self

Anthea talks with writers Fiona Wright and Anna Jacobson about their work and how their writing has helped them and those around them understand complex disability. Fiona is a poet and essayist ( while Anna Jacobson is a polymath - a writer, visual and video artist (

In What's On, Anthea and Liz discuss Deluge and Ingress. Deluge is an online collaboration between artists from Australia, Hong Kong and the UK and Ingress is Jeremy Hawkes solo exhibition at the Lismore Regional Gallery, November 28 to January 10, 2021. Download the transcript here: Activated Arts Transcript Episode 2

Original broadcast date: Friday 6 November 2020

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Episode #1: Pandemic

Anthea talks with Anna Barnes and Esther Hannaford, Lead-Writer and Actor from ABC series Retrograde, and Allison Reynolds, Paul Calcott and Jeffery Wood Visual Artists working on the radically accessible 2020 Exhibition about creating arts and entertainment in reaction to the pandemic. Download the transcript here: Activated Arts Transcript Episode 1.

Original broadcast date: Friday 9 October

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