Photographs offer fresh perspective on disability

Alliance by Tim Beale

Alliance by Tim Beale

Depictions of friendship, cityscapes and natural images are among the powerful photographs in an international arts competition reflecting the world from a disabled person’s perspective.

Photographers with Down’s syndrome from the UK, Greece, Japan, New Zealand and America have entered the Down’s Syndrome Association’s annual My Perspective competition which, this year, challenged people with the learning disability to go behind the lens.

As the association says: “In years gone by, people with Down’s syndrome were photographed as exhibits; the viewer was not supposed to see the person, just the difference. The Down’s syndrome Association’s My Perspective competition turns the camera around and gives people with Down’s syndrome the chance to show the world from their point of view.”

I’m sharing some of the 25 shortlisted images in the competition, which was launched in 2010, here (more can be seen here) and the winner will be announced on 11 June by a panel of judges including photographer Richard Bailey, curator of the groundbreaking Shifting Perspectives project.

The pictures reflect a beautifully wide range of subjects.

Ready for a ride, by Daniel Harrison

Ready for a ride, by Daniel Harrison

Coco by Kyle McKay

Coco by Kyle McKay

Blue Body, by Rory Davies

Blue Body, by Rory Davies

The Old Tree, by Emily Buck-

The Old Tree, by Emily Buck-

The Park, by Takis Koumentakis

The Park, by Takis Koumentakis

Swimming with frogs, by Klay Green

Swimming with frogs, by Klay Green

Cheeky Robin, by Steven Padmore

Cheeky Robin, by Steven Padmore

Shadow Stories, by Lillie Davies

Shadow Stories, by Lillie Davies

Hello, by Takeo Niikura

Hello, by Takeo Niikura

About Saba Salman

Saba Salman is a social affairs journalist and commissioning editor who writes regularly for The Guardian. Saba is a trustee of the charity Sibs, which supports siblings of disabled children and adults, and an RSA fellow. She is a former Evening Standard local government and social affairs correspondent.
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