Call for proposals 3: Working digitally in the arts field

FINALIST: Building an Equitable Digital Economy via Lens of the Marginalised Communities

Which challenges for working digitally in the arts carry your interest?

As a disabled, immigrant woman both my professional & personal interests align in presenting challenges to working digital in the form of ableist narratives & ecological racism. By virtue of living with chronic diseases I regularly face barriers to working digitally as a differently abled & woman of colour. This is a fundamental issue that needed to be overcome yesterday & I hope we can together.

Why do you want to participate in this call?

Because I believe if we want to see change we must be willing to make the change happen & the best people for the job will always be the ones who face the said challenges. As a disabled freelancer much of my work is impeded because of my legal status or my unique way of working as a differently-abled person. In 2014 I was told by my doctor to stop working fulltime & they would help me get benefits however I don't qualify for any, as an immigrant. This made me learn new ways of working & surviving financially and I see lots of digital makers just like me everyday struggling because the system isn't prepared to support an individual thrive even if digital technologies make it possible for us to work in a myriad of ways. Over two-thirds of world's population has 5+ chronic diseases which means there are likely more people with unique needs than there are "normal" people. I want to create digital systems & pave the way for all of us to be able to leave our marks in the arts and that's what I see participating in this call can bring.

How could your work on these challenges have an impact towards fairness and sustainability in the arts of Flanders and Brussels?

My work has taken me to conduct research for The British Council: Creative Economy on creative entrepreneurship across Europe & Asia along with the role I held at Goethe-Institut as Academic-CoDirector for MOOC training museum & arts professional in the digital age has opened my eyes into the world of artistic credibility especially in Europe has a linear approach. If we value diversity then we must be open to growing in nuanced multi-faceted spheres & that's how incorporating anti-ableism & antiracist principles will propel us forwards into building a truly equitable, fair & most importantly sustainable future for the digital artists. Especially in Flanders & Brussels, we need a renewed understanding of how environmentalism CAN go hand-in-hand with antiracism & that disability doesn't have to be seen as an added burden rather an added solution to many constrains of working digitally. We need to learn to navigate away from nationalism into being diverse in our fair+equitable solutions to harness the potential of creative digital arts.

Contact details

Bhavani Esapathi /