Birds of Paradise at Pilrig Park School

Robert and Max with pupils of Pilrig Park School
Robert and Max with pupils of Pilrig Park School
It wasn’t so long ago that I used to be asked what my life was like as a ‘young disabled person’, but I don’t fall under that category any more. So if I’m going to make work that engages disabled young people in 2020, I want to really know what their lives are like. What are their hopes, their fears and what brings them joy - and have these things changed in the last 20 or 30 years?

—Robert Gale

Birds of Paradise and Imaginate are working together on an exciting new commission for 2021. As part of the research for this we spent seven weeks towards the end of 2019 working with senior students of Pilrig Park School in Leith, Edinburgh. Pilrig Park supports young people who have moderate to complex needs and provides them with a secondary school education.

BOP’s Artistic Director worked with artist and inclusive play specialist Max Alexander alongside BOP’s Exec Producer Mairi Taylor. We wanted to find out from the students what life was like for them as disabled young people today. As an ‘older’ disabled person, Robert is keen to write about how his experiences growing up in the 80s and 90s are different to those of young disabled people today. What does it mean to identify as a disabled person when your at school in 2020? Have things got better? Worse? Stand by to see what we discovered.

You can read more about Max’s work here.