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panel discussion

Is theatre an ableist place?

According to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Germany recognises the right of persons with disabilities to have access and to participate in cultural life equally with non-disabled people. But what about the access to cultural life for people with disabilities who aren‘t spectators, but performers behind and on the stage? 

This participation should be non-negotiable, but what does the reality check say? Today, exclusion and unaccessibilty are still the rule, and inclusion means should mean far more than a ramp to the theatre doors: If you want to show an image of society on stage that does not just reproduce ableist norms, you need more than that. 

Moderation: Amy Zayed
with: Alina Buschmann, actress, consultant and coach
Roisin Keßler, cultural educator and inclusion consultant for cultural institutions
Noa Winter, curator, cultural advisor, scholar and disability rights activist

Friday June 17, 2022 at 2 p.m. in the Theaterrevier


Amy Zayed

Amy (Iman) Zayed was born in Paderborn to Egyptian parents. After graduating from school, she studied English, Romance languages and philosophy at the University of Bielefeld. At 14, she gained initial radio experience at the British soldiers’ station BFBS, where she worked as a freelance editor and writer until 2008. In 2005, she completed her traineeship at WDR and has since worked as a freelance writer for all ARD youth and culture channels as well as Deutschlandfunk and the British BBC. Since 2020, she has hosted the John Sinclair podcast for Bastei Luebbe publishing firm.


Alina Buschmann, actress, consultant and coach

Alina Buschmann is an actress and consultant for inclusion and anti-discrimination. Known on the internet as Dramapproved, she is an activist for the rights of people with disabilities. In her work as a consultant, Alina places great emphasis on revealing connections within our ableist structures.

Roisin Keßler, cultural educator and inclusion consultant for cultural institutions

Roisin Keßler, born 23.10.1996, is a wheelchair user who studies cultural education at Hochschule Niederrhein. She is currently writing her bachelor’s thesis on the socio-political and cultural-political prerequisites of inclusive performing arts in Germany.

Since April 2021, she has coordinated a network of non-disabled and disabled dance and theatre professionals. From February to June, she directed the inclusive theatre project “Achtsam Pöbeln. Gebrauchsanweisungen zum Wiederspruch” at Schauspiel Düsseldorf‘s Stadt:Kollektiv. She is also a freelancer for the “Access Maker” project of the Un-Label association.

Noa Winter, curator and dramaturge

Noa Winter (no pronouns or they/them) is a curator, cultural consultant, scholar and disability rights activist.

Since 2020, Winter has co-directed the project Making a Difference, which promotes disabled, deaf and chronically ill artists in the Berlin dance scene. Winter’s work focuses on anti-ableism, the self-determined working methods of disabled, deaf and chronically ill artists, and the aesthetics of access (aesthetics that consider accessibility to be an integral part of the artwork).

Most recently, Winter co-curated the symposia Explodierende Zeiten, ver_rückte Räume: Disability Arts & Crip Spacetime (with Nina Mühlemann) and Owning Spaces – Conversations and Actions from Bed (with Kate Marsh).

In co-operation with: