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Liverpool's DaDaFest put radical poet at the centre of their festival | 23-Oct-14

This November, the 12th DaDaFest takes place - a festival of disability & deaf arts, which has grown in both number and reputation substantially over the years. The heart of this year's events focuses on the life and impact of Edward Rushton. He was born in 1756 and was an uncompromising exponent as a slavery abolitionist, human rights advocate and poet. His used his poems as vehicles to rant and shout at the world - perhaps this is why his work and life has largely been forgotten. He penned his words from a place of anger, injustice and from the witnessing first hand the treatment of slaves being robbed of their human rights.

His poetry was filled with his observations, reactions and feelings about the injustices he saw and pain he felt at seeing brutality and violence towards his fellow human beings. 

"I grieve when earth is drenched with gore,
And realms with woe are covered o'er;
I grieve, and reprobate the plan
Of thanking God for slaughtered man"

From Carmen Triumphole about the slave uprising in Haiti

The 2014 festival will deliver a series of events to highlight poetry and encourage others to take up the pen. Working alongside award winning poet, Roger Cliffe-Thompson, DaDafest will deliver a series of workshops and live sessions to encourage others into articulating some to the big issues that affects our lives today. The aim of DaDaFest is to inspire others to unashamedly pen their reactions to life today and seek to articulate issues and concerns akin to Rushton. 

The workshops will take place on Bluecoat Art Centre on 23rd November and Liverpool's Central Library on 30th November with public presentations on 4th December in the Bluecoat Performance space. 

For more details visit

Displays and exhibitions about Rushton's life will be held at Museum of Liverpool Life, International Slavery Museums and Victoria Gallery & Museums from 8th November 2014.

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