Riana Head-Toussaint is an interdisciplinary disabled artist, who uses a manual wheelchair for mobility. Her work often crosses traditional artform boundaries, and exists in online and offline spaces. She employs choreography, performance, video, sound design, immersive/participatory installation and audience activation to create works that interrogate entrenched systems, structures and ways of thinking; and advocate for social change. The enduring concerns across her works are agency, representation, the limits of empathy, and how these impact people across different marginalised intersections. Her work is deeply informed by her experiences as a disabled woman of Afro- Caribbean descent, and her training as a legal practitioner. A core aspect of her practice is reclaiming, remaking and realigning spaces to make them more accessible and welcoming to folks across varied marginalised intersections.
Experimental Micro-Fellowship 2021
Through this fellowship she will develop two works 'Conductive Site' which puts forward the concept that no space is neutral; the architecture, culture and history of every site will affect those who interact with it – how, and to what extent, they can access it. This has direct implications for the ‘liveness’ of an event. The work will draw focus to create movement, conversation and change.
The other project is Animate Loading. The work involves a group of people with different movement languages and bodies (politicised in various ways due to race, disability, sex, gender and movement mode) entering a location; traversing and interacting with it. It’s a performance, but also a socio-political intervention; as their movement foregrounds the complex negotiations that often go unnoticed in scenarios involving bodies and the built environment.