Disability Arts in the North East – A Living Archive
A tribute to all the disabled artists and groups who have made up the Disability Arts Movement past and present
Kim Tserkezie has worked as an actor, presenter, writer, and producer for twenty-five years, with a career spanning comedy, drama and documentary. She is CEO of Scattered Pictures.
Kim got her first TV break as a presenter for BBC’s Disability Today and From The Edge and went on to play Penny Pocket in four series and two arena tours of BAFTA award winning, Balamory. In 2020, she won a Royal Television Society Award for best drama performance for her leading role in Obsession (BFI Network). Other acting credits include Boy Meets Girl, Wolfblood, feature film, Bliss, and Lodger, a BBC TV comedy pilot she co-wrote, as well as numerous theatre roles.
Kim set up Scattered Pictures in 2011. The production company, based in Kim’s home city of Newcastle, develops projects focused on underrepresented talent. The company recently received four radio documentary commissions for BBC World Service.
Kim has achieved drama and comedy writing commissions from multiple broadcasters including BBC, ITV and C4 and is currently writing and producing for TV, film, and audio, collaborating with some of the UK’s leading indies and broadcasters.
Kim won a John Brabourne Award in 2016 and was a board member of the Royal Television Society North East and the Borders 2017-21. She has been a full BAFTA member since 2014 and is Deputy Chair of BFI’s Disability Screen Advisory Group. Kim has chaired industry events for RTS, BFI and Netflix and is a trustee of the North’s development agency for writing and reading, New Writing North.
Kim’s statement on the exhibition
Tick! Tick! Tick! As a woman whose age is approaching half a century, I can hear the clock ticking on my life now more than ever.
Having worked as an actor, writer, presenter, and producer for close to thirty years, I find myself reflecting on how many minutes, hours, days, weeks of my life I’ve lost having to justify and explain my existence and value in the screen industries, just because I am disabled.
I wonder, how many more creative projects could I have shared with the world if I’ve not had to spend so much time campaigning, training, and educating an ableist industry to include us, as disabled people. To see us as the talented, creative, innovative community we are, instead of reducing us to a difficult and costly medical problem.
It’s been a lifelong struggle. I recall as far back as the nativity in nursery school, I was delegated to the wings to play the xylophone whilst I watched my classmates perform on an inaccessible stage.
Whilst we have seen positive steps towards inclusion in recent years, we remain the most underrepresented group in the industry. As each year has gone by, that push to the side lines has continued, due to ignorance about who we are and what we can do as disabled people in the industry.
But here I still am, almost 30 years on, like many disabled people, testimony to the fact we won’t be pushed aside. I’ve worked on a BAFTA award-winning series, I’ve won a RTS award for my drama performance. I run my own production company, Scattered Pictures, which focuses on underrepresented talent and I’m now creating projects with some of the UK’s leading broadcasters.
For every minute that is taken away from us through ableism, we replace it with resilience and determination. For every moment we are pushed to the side lines, we create new ways to take centre stage.
Tick! Tick! Tick! I hear the clock more loudly and I realise I have lost nothing. It’s only the sound of my voice – our voice – becoming louder and prouder than ever before.