Is Liverpool normal? So far, so glib, you might think. And while we’re every ready to greet a survey based press release with a raised eyebrow, something from DaDaFest caught our eye today: people from Liverpool are less likely to consider themselves ‘normal’ than people from elsewhere.

“But what is normal?”, we hear you say. Well, chalk one up to DaDaFest’s PR team, because that’s rather the point. The survey is pushing the festival’s Niet Normaal: Difference on Display exhibition, which you can see at the Bluecoat and read about here.

Rather like the intriguing exhibition the survey poses questions rather than answering them and, while it’s easy to write this off as a statistical anomaly, it’s damn peculiar all the same. But it does beg some interesting questions. Why do less than 50 per cent of of people who live in Liverpool think of themselves as normal, against four in five people from outside the city? Perhaps there’s a clue in the title of the Niet Normaal exhibition; while it literally translates as ‘not normal’ it has a common colloquial meaning: cool.

According to Niet Normaal, the defining question of our age is “what is normal and who decides?”. During a Deaf And Disability Arts Festival – and with the Paralympics under way today – it’s a timely question.

We’re nearing the last few days of DaDaFest 2012 and there are still some of the festival’s highlights to come, including Benny Prasad at Liverpool Cathedral, Laurence Clarke and Catholic Erotica at the Unity and continuing exhibitions at the Unity. Perhaps DaDaFest 2012’s time in town inspired some of that ambivalence to whether Liverpool is normal or not.

You have until Sunday, 2 September to see Niet Normaal: Difference on Display at the Bluecoat. Click here for the full DaDaFest programme

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