‘Autistic Long-Form’ as an Artistic Methodology

Format: Research project
Dates: Nov 2023 — Jan 2024
Language: English
Publication: Online

Research, text, documents: Aslan

With a research stipend from the Fonds Darstellende Künste, I will investigate how a Crip-Queer approach will transform my artistic practice and work with the collective ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS by placing accessibility at its heart.

In February 2023, I was diagnosed as autistic and an official diagnosis has convinced me it is time to radically reassess how I work, how we work together and who we make work for. What will happen if accessibility — for ourselves, our co-collaborators, our audiences — is the first thing I think about? Are there radical ways to reconsider artistic methodologies and approaches to touring and Gastspiele?
I am inspired by The Future Is Disabled by disabled and autistic activist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, and, in particular, her concept of ‘Autistic Long-Form’. Autistic people tell stories in a different way: the path is longer and winding with diversions and detours built in.

I ask: how can I approach collective writing by embracing a strategy of detours and diversions rather than forcing my storytelling to conform? Can these expansive new forms make my work accessible to different and diverse audiences?

A research grant will give me the time and resources to explore written and performative text using the concept of Autistic Long-Form as my guide, investigate texts written by disabled artists, exchange with other makers and experts, formulate best practice documents to share with our peers, and discuss access with Ballhaus Ost, our long term partner in Berlin.

The lead and thumbnail image is a digital collage by Chris Gylee, using calligraphy by Aslan. 

‘Autistic Long-Form as an Artistic Methodology’ is a research project by Aslan, supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Additional thanks to: Chris Gylee; Dan Daw and Zed Lightheart; Toria Banks; Ballhaus Ost.