Doc. by Neo Pasopati of .this/PLAY

Arts is a cornerstone of the British Council’s mission to develop stronger creative sectors around the world that are better connected with one another.

At the British Council, we are passionate about using our arts programmes to support diversity, be it language, ethnicity and religion, gender and sexuality, nature and ecosystems; but arguably, disability is the most important thing for us at this time.

Arts should reflect the diversity of a pluralistic society that we live in. Through our disability arts programmes, we aim to strengthen the international profile of UK as a recognised global leader in the area of disability arts and take part in building a more inclusive and diverse arts ecosystem in Indonesia.

Our scope of work:

  • Skills sharing and collaboration
  • Promoting artworks by disabled artists
  • Advocating inclusivity and accessibility within the mainstream arts sector 

Our activity encompasses networking visits, creative residencies, public events, research, workshops, and outreach programmes.

We work across the spectrum of influence, including policy, institutions, and individuals, by stressing the values of inclusion and equality which are key to the British Council.

The British Council supports and actively promotes use of the Social Model of disability.


Our major projects:

March 2016, testing the waters

British Council Indonesia started work in disability arts in 2016 by inviting Jo Verrent, Creative Producer of UNLIMITED to Indonesia.  From her visit Jo recognised that there is a great potential for the UK to work with Indonesia in artist exchange and capacity building for artists and producers with disability. Jo’s full article can be read here.

September 2016, first exchange

To start the exchange we then invited a disabled artist Hana Madness and young activist in disability Annisa Rahmania from Young Voices, as well as two dance producers from Ballet.id to attend UNLIMITED festival in London.

September 2017, first artistic collaboration and first co-productional presentation UK and Indonesia

As a result of the UNLIMITED visit in Sept 2016, Ballet.id decided to devote their second Indonesian ballet gala to inclusive dance. It included eight short pieces, almost all by disabled performers or choreographer from across the globe.

December 2017, in depth study

British Council Indonesia commissioned Center for Disability Studies and Services (CDSS) Universitas Brawijaya to map out the disability arts practice in Indonesia.

October 2018, Festival Bebas Batas

Festival Bebas Batas was Indonesia’s first festival of brilliant art by disabled people. (‘Bebas batas’ roughly translates as ‘free of boundaries’, or ‘unlimited’). Taking place at the National Gallery in Jakarta, the festival was designed to complement the Asian Para Games, hosted in Jakarta in the same month. The festival is the brainchild of a group of artists, curators and activists, including artist Hana Madness, who visited the Unlimited Festival in London in 2016 and was inspired to create a festival with the same spirit in Indonesia.

December 2019, Disability Arts Learning Residency in UK

In partnership with DaDaFest, British Council offered a 10-day learning residency programme in the UK for 3 Indonesia-based disability arts practitioners.


September 2020, Indonesia Distanced Stories

An inclusive and fully digital documentary filmmaking workshop delivered in partnership with Scottish Documentary Institute and In-Docs.

June 2021, Writing for Inclusion

An online inclusive journalism writing workshop for both established and aspiring journalists/writers. Delivered in partnerships with Disability Arts Online (DAO), The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), and KamiBijak.