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Be Ill-Disciplined | Performative Lecture & Workshop by Kai Syng Tan

14th September 2020

DIGITAL PERFORMATIVE LECTURE | Catalysing Change Through Artful Agitation: Part I:  Be  Ill-Disciplined  

19 SEPTEMBER, 2:30-3:30pm | Free | Book here or write to [email protected]

We need new compasses, fresh tools, and untried directions.

With the pandemic, Black Lives Matter, and the ongoing crises in climate, health, and technological control, we’ve all been thinking a lot about leadership.

  • What makes a  ‘good’  leader?
  • What a new kind of leader look like?
  • As artists, curators, creative producers and theatre-makers, how can we make art, make shows and make  change?

Kai Syng Tan  is an artist, curator and academic who co-leds the Neurodiversity In/And Creative Research Network. She argues that artists – especially artists with ‘non-standard’ and neurodiverse ways of thinking – can help invent new pathways towards solutions to the major challenges facing our societies, and work to co-create a better world.

In this online performance lecture, Kai will explore how creativity and neurodiversity can drive social change.

‘Normal’ hasn’t worked, so we need leaders with  atypical  ways of being, thinking, making, and organising for our ‘new normal’.  Be Ill-disciplined  invites you to critically and creatively explore leadership – and to think about yourself as a leader.

The performative lecture will be followed by a Q&A led by artist and member of the Neurodiversity and/in Creative Research Network, Ashokkumar Mistry. Everyone’s contribution is welcome.

This event will be live captioned. If you have other access needs, you will be able to tell us this when booking your ticket.


Be Ill-disciplined  will be followed by an online workshop for up to 15 people aged 21-30 who are interested in arts, leadership and social change, with a priority given to those who are ‘neurodiverse’ (broadly, with cognitive approaches different to the ‘standard’, such as dyslexia, autism, ADHD and/or more) or from a BAME or working-class background.

Booking: If you are interested in joining this workshop please email  [email protected] with an Expression of Interest

This workshop will be live captioned. If you have other access needs, please let Chloe know during sign-up.


Dr Kai Syng Tan FRSA SFHEA is an artist, curator, consultant and academic. Marked by an ‘eclectic style and cheeky attitude’ (Sydney Morning Herald), ‘radical interdisciplinarity’ (Dr Alan Latham, UCL) and ‘positive atmosphere’ (Guardian), Kai’s work has been widely shared. She is Senior Lecturer at Manchester School of Art and Visiting Artist at King’s College London. Networks she has founded include: RUN! RUN! RUN!, Neurodiversity In/And Creative Research, Running Cultures Research Group and Co-Founder and Member of Arts and Mobilities Network. She is also UK Adult ADHD Network Creative and Cultural Consultant, PsychART Advisor and Music In Detention trustee

Ashokkumar Mistry is a multidisciplinary artist, writer and curator working in the UK and internationally. His writing encompasses direct research and personal experiences relating to neurodiversity with a view to sharing experiences and changing attitudes. He is currently Associate Artist with Disability Arts Online and a Development Artist with The Spark Arts.  Ashokkumar has been commissioned by the BBC and a number of galleries such as the Lowry and Southbank Centre to create artworks and exhibitions. As a curator, he has worked with AIS for a number of years developing innovative and thought provoking exhibitions. Ashokkumar has also developed a number of exhibitions in Taiwan for National Cheng Kung University and A-Glow space. 

Part of  performingbordersLIVE20  programme (March – November 2020).  performingborders  is a space for artistic research and creation that explores physical, cultural, juridical, racial, gendered, class, and everyday borders through live art and performance practices. In partnership with Contact Theatre and HowlRound Theatre Commons. Supported by the Arts Council England. 

Featured Image credits: Tapestry art I Run and Run, Let Out an Earth Shattering Roar, and Turn Into a Giant Octopussy looked on by woman. From #MagicCarpet by Kai Syng Tan 2017-2019. Photograph by Alex Lloyd.