About the exhibition – what to expect
Urban Survival Kits (USK) is an innovative Erasmus + programme led by the University of Atypical for Arts and Disability (UofA) in Belfast and devised by artist Julie McGowan. This exhibition is the result of a two-year long international creative learning project exploring how disabled and neurodiverse adults can develop and design personalised survival kits to support their local, national and international travel requirements.
This partnership between the UofA, in collaboration with local participants from the NOW Group (Belfast) and European partner organisations Cotopaxi (Poland); Blauschimmel Atelier (Germany); Akdeniz University (Turkey) and Upset Theatre (Croatia) has been participant led with the aim of empowering d/Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people.
The USK’s programme included a series of live and online workshops specifically tailored to provide an inclusive and immersive learning experience to participants. This allowed for a safe way of experimenting, externalising, reframing and ultimately sharing real-life stories and experiences, removing the barriers that d/Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people experience when travelling, and creating individual communication tools that are tailored to ensure positive travelling experiences.
In June of 2022 an international group of 50 people participated in a week-long, learning programme that took place online and in the Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens and the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. The Urban Survival Kits exhibition is the artistic outcome of that time spent together and a starting point for planning travel adventures. The artists mapped out their personalised creative journeys that started online in January 2022 in Belfast and artists then spent 3 fun days online, building connections and learning from each other. After this each group in our partner countries spent 10 days experimenting with art in preparation for their travels to Belfast.
The group began their adventure during a five-day training programme, starting with a journey of self-discovery through the creation of 3D portraits and models with individually designed backdrops. Integrating the models created an opportunity for exploring familiar or imagined environments or storylines. Participants designed and created individual Urban Survival Kits containing everything they might need for a Dream Day Out.
On the last day, the group visited Botanic Gardens, where they mapped and digitally recorded their journey, collecting sounds, images, and objects of interest. They used this material to create a digital trail of the visit. The trails created will be used in the development of an interactive online map and will be available to follow and add to via the USK website.
The exhibition opens on 23rd March 2023 and will be added to with new content made over a five day training programme taking place in April 2023. This unique project culminates in Belfast on the 21st of April 2023 with a celebration of the learning programme and creative input by the USK artists. A virtual exhibition will tour each partner country in June 2023.
For more information about the artist and organisations involved:
#urbansurvivalkits #erasmusplus @universityofatypical @blauschimmelatelierev @stowarzyszenieprawconiafilmowacotopaxi @upsetteatar @akdenizuniversity @NOW_Group @nowgrouporg @pracownia_cotopaxi @upset.theatre @universityofatypical @akdeniz_universitesi @auftrabmitblauschimmel
Light refreshments will be served.
Access Booking – To book your access requirements please email
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