DYSPLA is an award-winning, arts studio that produces and develops the work of dyslexic and neurodivergent storymakers.
“We exist in the hope of building the crucial next generation of innovative thinkers,” DYSPLA co-founder, Lennie Varvarides explains. “DYSPLA dreams of a world where each and every creative mind, no matter how different from society’s norms, is individually valued and can flourish within an empathetic and supportive environment.” This exceptional London-based studio is supported by the Arts Council, and, for the very first time this year, the Earl’s Court Film Festival. “We work internationally in film, immersive theatre, installations and digital art,” Lennie outlines. “Since 2013, it has been our goal to shine a light on the dyslexic narrative and neurodivergent aesthetic. Seven years later, we are proud to be at the forefront of neurodivergent creativity in the visual arts.” Dyslexic and Neurodivergent storymakers have a strong heritage in narrative and non-linear art history.
Agatha Christie, Pablo Picasso, WB Yeats, Stan Brakhage, Steve McQueen, Quentin Tarantino, and Steven Spielberg – just a few storymakers on an endless list that share dyslexia as their commonality and as their genius.
In 2020, Film Earl’s Court and the Earl’s Court Film festival team committed to support DYSPLA’s Residency programme. One of the winners will receive a grant of £1,500 towards the production cost of producing a finished script and creating a short film of the same. MSFT Management (www.msftmanagement.com), a sister company of DYSPLA, will also assist with casting support. Once finished, the film will then be screened in Earl’s Court, Soho, and on various online platforms. as part of the 2021 Festival.
“These types of collaborations and partnerships offer a valuable way to support the creative and professional development of British Neurodivergent talent,” Earl’s Court Film Festival co-producer, Caroline Tod-Richardson, explains. “Earl’s Court is and has always been an exceptionally diverse and creative place to live, and we, as a community, fully embrace talent in all of its many guises. From the time we discovered DYSPLA we wanted to support them, financially and logistically. Supporting the Residence is a great first step in what we hope to be a long-term and fruitful relationship.” Speaking about the broader challenges faced by young neurodiverse creatives, Lennie believes that the UK’s education system has “belittled and undervalued the neurodivergent community for centuries. “Cuts to education in the arts, crafts and music in our schools, and the apparent worship of traditional academia and the mythical neurotypical are destroying the potential of our young storymakers, and more needs to be done to spot, nurture and showcase the exceptional talent of our youth.”
Being a dyslexic or neurodiverse visual creative or writer gives you a completely different view on the world, and my strong advice is to embrace what you have and use the way you see the world to create and innovate, any way you can. People like us learn by learning what is unlearned, so what we produce can be truly incredible.
Currently conducting research into the neurodivergent aesthetic, while exploring the medium of XR (Extended Reality), DYSPLA continues to elucidate a new artistic aesthetic defined by the cognitive difference of neurodivergence.
If you are interested to learn more about neurodiversity and the Arts, DYSPLA or the upcoming Residency, visit www.dyspla.com.