Backstage

Meet our 2016 Artists: Amelia Ducker | Genius

Genius landscape
Genius | Amelia Ducker and St Martins

The Festival of Live Art is already into its final week! A highlight of the upcoming weekend’s program is GENIUS by Amelia Ducker and St Martins, a live art event led by neurodiverse young people. In this immersive work, the audience is invited to participate in a series of encounters with eight unique thinkers, where each Genius will present their perspective on the topic of their expertise. Concept developer and director Amelia Ducker shared some thoughts on the topic of neurodiversity and what to expect from the show.

Describe your show in one sentence?
An interactive walk through the minds of eight exceptional thinkers.

Neurodiversity. What does this mean?
Neurodiversity is an approach or paradigm that emerged in the late 1990’s and brings forward the idea that neurological differences like autism, dyslexia, ADHD and other neurological conditions are a result of normal variations of the human genome rather than a medical disorder.

Neurodiversity suggests we need to recognize, celebrate and work with the strengths of those who have neurological differences in order to progress as a society. In fact, it would be safe to say that a lot of the technological and cultural advancements that we encounter in our lives now can be attributed to the work of neuro-typical thinkers.

As Genius is made in collaboration with eight young people on the autism spectrum, we have collectively decided that the concept of neurodiversity best speaks to the work that we will be presenting at FOLA.

With the recent claim that there has been a 250 percent increase of children in Australia diagnosed with autism over the last 30 years, it is useful to consider how do we as a society, choose to work with this rise in diagnoses.

And how can we move beyond social stigma into acceptance and useful integration.

What can we expect to learn about the world through the eyes of these eight unique thinkers?
Genius will give you the opportunity to expand your knowledge on areas including Gough Whitlam, Royal Families of the world, Kevin Bacon, Fashion, Australian Animals and Linguistics. However, it will also invite you to consider different modes of thinking and different ways of perceiving the world.

The work itself will in its own way reveal something of a spectrum, and through lectures, speeches, songs, conversations and dances, Genius will uncover the dynamic voices that sit within our community.

GENIUS: Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 March at St Kilda Town Hall
Session times: 12pm, 1.30pm, 3pm, 4.30pm
Click here for tickets and information