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Different Abilities, A Different Kind Of Art

Posted By: Marty

Different Abilities, A Different Kind Of Art - 02/03/12 02:23 PM

Today, a photo-voice exhibit was launched at the Institute of Mexico. It's different because it shares the perspectives of people with diverse abilities.

"Picture This: Our Diverse Reality" is a project which began in August of last year, and it features a collection of photos which catalogue three issues: how they get around; what their talents are; and what services they should have access to. Mexico has made significant efforts to protect persons with diverse abilities and the Embassy welcomed the exhibition to promote protection of persons with diverse abilities in Belize.

Mexican Ambassador, Mario Velasquez, officially opened the exhibit by sharing Mexico's advances made in protecting the rights of those with disabilities.

H.E. Mario Velasquez, Mexican Ambassador
"We must say that discrimination denies the equal services of rights, and opportunities to any person. The persons cannot developed by him or herself an that's why the government and society have to create mechanism, spaces and rules to respect people with diverse abilities."

"Mexico is fighting this very big battle; this battle is the fight against discrimination, discrimination against persons with disabilities."

Robin Schaffer
"So can you tell me how did this idea come about for this photo voice?"

Sister Beverly Hoffman, SCN, Exhibit Coordinator
"Well I have been in Belize for about 10 years and felt that the voices of people with disabilities or diverse abilities have not really been heard, so when I went back to school for my master's degree I decided to try a technique called photo voice as my research methodology."

"My messages for this exhibit include, seeing, 1) that people with diverse abilities are just like everyone else. The second goal in this exhibition is to really provide information to the public to become aware to the fact that accessibility is a big issue here, that curbs and steps can really bar and exclude people in wheel chairs."

"Right now the time is right, Belize has signed to the UN conventions to the right of persons with disabilities and so this exhibit kind of raises awareness of the public and to the policy makers, that changes needs to be made."

Robin Schaffer
"How does it feels, to be chosen as one of the participants for this photo voice?"

Kent Young, Artist for the Exhibit
"They put me in the front line, and I accept."

Robin Schaffer
"What did you to be chosen as one of the participants for this?"

Kent Young, Artist of the Exhibit
"They put me in the front line."

Robin Schaffer
"And what did you consider when taking the pictures, I know you are given guidelines but what exactly prompted you to choose the pictures that you choose?"

Kent Young, Artist of the Exhibit
"You've got to express your deepest admiration to take the picture close and stuff like that."

Robin Schaffer
"And which one was your favorite picture?"

Kent Young, Artist of the Exhibit
"DJ Hill."

Robin Schaffer
"Why was that your favorite?"

Kent Young, Artist of the Exhibit
"Well, all these types of display, takes one shot and that's DJ Hill, to speak out the words of truth in Belize society."

Robin Schaffer
"What message would you like to impart through these photos? Which one do you think is the most important message, through these photos? what message are you trying to impart?"

Kent Young, Artist of the Exhibit
"Speak out to the public to acknowledge the atmosphere of life, is within us that makes the difference in life."

Sharon Craig, Artist of the Exhibit
"Well it was and honor and a privilege for me to be chosen, as a participant in the project."

Robin Schaffer
"And what did you consider when taking the pictures?"

Sharon Craig, Artist of the Exhibit
"We took into consideration the various questions asked, and we wanted to make sure that the pictures that we took, really express what we are experiencing."

Robin Schaffer
"What main reactions do you hope to get from the public who are viewing your pictures?"

Sharon Craig, Artist of the Exhibit
"I would hope that the public would, take into consideration that the fact that we are human beings as well they would get a feel of the factors that are affecting us and that are influencing us at this time."

The artists were chosen randomly from a list of 8 members of the Belize Assembly of Persons With Diverse Abilities who volunteered for the project, but only two were selected due to limited funding. The exhibition will be open Monday from 8:30am- 5p.m, and will end February 10th. The public is invited; the entrance is free, and the venue is wheelchair accessible.

Channel 7

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