What's on The Nov/Dec #NDACA Blog: 140 Characters and Van and Scan This month, Georgia Macqueen Black, NDACA Project Team, gives an insight into the NDACA social media campaign and the Van and Scan roadshow. Mike Flack, David Hevey and myself making the most of NDACA’s gifts from HLF! 26 November 2015 marked the final day of our first NDACA Van and Scan, a digital roadshow touring the country to preserve key pieces of disability art. Currently, the project team is made up of five people: one Project Director at the helm, ready to take action and drive the epic ambitions; one photographer and her assistant producer, working until each pledge has been scanned and photographed over and over; an experienced archivist turned surveyor, watching his careful plans come to life… And then there’s me, the social media 'person', writing tweets and transforming long days on set into a snap-shot focus. One of our earlier tweets: Tanya Raabe, Tanya Raabe (self-portrait), and the NDACA crew. Tweeting has helped us shape Van and Scan into the overall NDACA narrative. Each visit provided an opportunity to capture something permanent out of the on-set bustle of artists, deposits, cameras and workers; the quality of a ‘spontaneously’ posted image that is actually the result of thought-out direction and control. I felt assured our tweets would be received with enthusiasm, seeing as the tools were there already: artists with long careers and stories to share, seeking a new outlet for their creativity through digital preservation. Nancy Willis welcoming the NDACA crew into her home. Tanya Raabe and Nancy Willis, two of the disabled artists we visited during Van and Scan, were more than happy to have their photo taken with key pieces of art and willing members of the NDACA crew. The idea of artists interacting with their work and tweeting the results started off as a simple gesture to show the process behind production; however, the delicate empowerment of these two disabled women, combined with our belief in the quality and longevity of the project, came together in a series of images that are undeniably special. A fun day at the office with Tony Heaton, founder of NDACA. Even days spent in the office copy room were of value to our social media cause. We decided that the infamous ‘Piss on Pity’ t-shirts (see banner image) worn by disabled activists in the 1980s should be re-worn by us: partly for the glory of trying on the most memorable slogan of the disability arts movement, mostly because we knew the tweet would work. There I sit amongst happy chaos, proud to be wearing a piece of history that went before, and proud that NDACA will allow the disability arts movement to live on in full digital array. A great find at Holton Lee, one of the birthplaces of the disability arts movement. How could we not include Graeae’s colourful theatre posters as part of our online twitter display? Or tweet a close-up picture found at Holton Lee, one that defines ‘Disability Arts’ clearly and succinctly: a culture of control, empowerment, and disabled people’s creative voices. These are the previews that our social media audience has latched onto; thanks to re-tweets from the Culture minister Ed Vaizey and Arts Council chair Peter Bazalgette, our chain of NDACA updates has travelled much further than expected, and overall the stats should exceed 100k impressions. ‘A Private View’ of Graeae’s theatrical history… Together, these images depict Van and Scan’s development into a visual triumph. I believe each shot demands a response from the viewer; bold and vibrant, we clearly enjoyed shooting them, and as tweets they were NDACA’s first chance at public self-ownership. We succeeded, I think, in delivering a message that will only be amplified before the project goes live in 2017. The ‘epic’ has already happened in the trials and achievements of the disability arts movement: it is NDACA’s honour to re-deliver them, so that the British public can finally accept disability arts into its diverse cultural landscape. Banner Image: The Piss on Pity tweet: re-wearing the radical!