Sri KDU reaching out to the disabled

In the Face of Disability on display at Sri KDU

The IB Business students and members of the Sri KDU Secondary School’s Reaching Out Club, together with their teacher and advisor, Muhammad Azhar, invited me to exhibit my photographs ‘In the Face of Disability’ and to give a talk at their school in Kota Damansara. The exhibition is from 28 July to 1 August at the school’s foyer. I gave a talk ‘ The Arts and social responsibility’ this morning, to the club members

This is the first time any school has requested to display the collection  to show to thier students, what one  small but often neglected group of our community, does for sports, in the Malaysian Paralympics. This set of pictures ‘bring’ these disabled athletes into the school and the students get to ‘meet’ them, and to know about them, perhaps not in person but in spirit.

One of the remarks I over heard as I was putting up the pictures with the help of some of the students, ‘Look over there did you see that person who can swim without his legs?’. Or ‘Do you see that they can lift weights?’ Hearing just one or two whispers among the young people make all the effort of documenting and touring these images of these athletes worthwhile.

Hopefully this exhibition and the talk will stimulate some of the students to think and look outside their classroom and their school gates.

Thanks to all of you from Sri KDU.

Photography and Disability

Photographs of Art for All

In the last three years, I have been exhibiting my photographs at the art camp. This year I showed 50 black and white pictures which I made the year before, of the camp. These photos are simply hung out on lines along certain passage ways and sometimes they are moved from one location to another within the camp area, for everyone, who care to look at them.

My main aim is to provide the campers and visitors with some personal memories of the previous years events and put on record some of the more memorable moments and faces and happenings. Besides these images also tell a story of the daily life of the five days, showing the joys and pains encountered by some of the disabled artists, musicians, dancers etc.

Of course, from the blind boy’s broad smiling face, painted with a flower by a fellow-camper, it is easy to tell that he is really happy participating and doing things with friends. At some point I wished I could imagine what he sees in his mind and what is his own idea of his own handsome and youthful face? His hearing is perfect and perhaps it would help to just describe his features to him in words rather then in picture. On the other hand, he may already know his face better then anyone can. Not surprising, he can see with the touch of his fingers better then any of us sighted can and also perhaps feel deeper in his darkness then many of us care to.

One of the other reason why me, my wife and son, who is just going to be five, are at the Art for All camp, for the last six years, was to volunteer (with no pay) as resource persons, helping out with the many tasks there.