(Originally published Sept-2011 on http://disabilityarts.creativecase.org.uk)
Madani Younis is currently Artistic Director of Freedom Studios in Bradford. He has recently been appointed the Artistic Director for the Bush Theatre in London. While at the Creative Case launch event, I stole him away from the symposium for a quick chat.
Why are you here today?
I was invited to speak on one of the panels this afternoon, looking at how I would respond and implement the Creative Case into my practice as an artist and as the leader of an organisation.
How have you found the symposium?
I felt there has been a real diversity of voices from both chief executives of large institutions to smaller organisations. I felt by the end of the day, we were really beginning to tease out some of the more immediate questions. I think what’s great about today was just the diversity of opinions in that room. If it shows us anything, it’s that diversity is really plural.
What do you see as the value of diversity within the arts?
I don’t know if it’s a value or rather a necessity. I think without diversity within the arts, we are looking at a dying art form.
How do you think the Creative Case will impact?
The Creative Case poses an amazing provocation. I think it’s a provocation that is asking people to respond to it. I think if we fail to respond, we only hold ourselves responsible for that.
You’ll be taking up the post of Artistic Director at the Bush Theatre in London in January 2012. How does your vision for the theatre tie in with the Creative Case?
I believe that I lived the Creative Case before the Creative Case was put into writing. If anything, it validates a position with an informed set of opinions from across the sector; from academia and from the annals of history. I think doing so gives us all a shared idea from which we can really begin to move forward.
Will you be staying for the decibel showcase?
Absolutely. I’m really looking forward to it. I think as someone who will soon be responsible for the programming within a new building, it’s exciting. What is unique about decibel for me is the opportunity of the pitching sessions. You get to see work at a very early stage of its development, with the potential of joining that artist or group of artists on that particular journey.
What links or partnerships do you think develop from a showcase like decibel ?
I think they affirm existing links and I think they allow you a creative space in which you can begin new conversations. For me, I think that’s key. This is not about creating secure, polite, networks that are familiar. I think it is always about broadening ones networks and about broadening the critique and stimulus that can inform ones own practice and inform others.
Finally, can you give us an indication of what we can expect to see at the Bush?
I’m very excited by what the Bush has, and I want to create the conditions under which the most reflective artists of our day find a place they can both call home and present their work in.