for the circular movement of knowledge ~ Debra Keenahan and JulieMc McNamara

30 November 2022
for the circular movement of knowledge is an online series of conversations where artists create new relationships with peers through knowledge exchange.
for the circular movement of knowledge ~ Debra Keenahan and JulieMc McNamara

Episode 5


Over the course of their online conversation residency, Debra and JulieMc discussed models of disability, the power of the theatre and influential teachers.

Podcast Version

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Debra Keenahan is an artist, psychologist and author. She has exhibited in both group and solo exhibitions and been the sole and co-author of a book, book chapters, articles and conference papers. Her work focusses upon the personal and social impacts of disability. Having achondroplasia dwarfism, Debra brings a personal insight to understanding the dynamics of interpersonal interactions and social structures that include/exclude the visibly different from equitable social relations. Debra’s work reflects the philosophy that the per-sonal is the political. Debra employs different mediums in her art practice to communicate with and engage people on difficult issues, encouraging empathy for the socially excluded.


JulieMc McNamara is a leading international artist and activist in Disability Arts, founder and former Artistic Director of Vital Xposure, funded by Arts Council England. She co-founded London’s Disability Film Festival with Caglar Kimyoncu (filmpro) based on Southbank at National Film Theatre for 10 years. Driven by social justice, McNamara has a life-long preoccupation with disavowed voices on the political periphery, voices from locked in spaces, voices that shake us back to life.

JulieMc McNamara is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter, a recipient of a Miegunyah Award, 2019 and Honorary fellowship at University of Melbourne 2018-21. She received Best Documentary and Best of the Fest Awards at Picture This...Film Festival, Calgary, Canada, 2018 and Best Performance 2017; Unlimited Award 2014; Southbank Show Diversity Award ITV 2010; DaDa Writers Award with ITV, 2009. McNamara has published widely in poetry anthologies and non-fiction discourses on Disability and Madness, and has a substantial theatre production history both in the UK internationally (Australia, Canada, Brazil, USA, New Zealand & Ireland). Recent productions include Voices from the Knitting Circle, lifting the lid on the closed world of UK asylums and secure hospitals and The Butch Monologues by Libro Levi Bridgeman– staged in Melbourne at Theatre Works, Midsumma festival and Sydney at Mardi Gras in 2019.

Image Credit

Akil Ahamat

Partners and Supporters

This project is supported by Australia Council for the Arts.

This project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

This project is supported by the Crown Resorts Foundation and the Packer Family Foundation.