Photo exhibition features stories of disabled people from China and Sweden
Updated 07:55, 22-Apr-2021
By Yang Yan

"AccessAbility," an exhibition on show at the Danish Culture Center in Beijing's 798 Art Zone, shares the stories of 26 individuals from China and Sweden, who have different disabilities. CGTN talked to some of them to find out how their disabilities don't stop them from reaching their goals.

Xiao Jia leads a group of visually impaired girls to teach them how to do make-up.

They come from all over China to join this workshop. The process is fun and interactive, like Xiao's personality.

As one of the people portrayed in the exhibition AccessAbility, she wants more people like her to learn from her story.

"I want other disabled women to realize their lives have a lot more possibilities. Through persistent trials, the future path is broadened for visually impaired women, it's not just giving massages or getting married or having children," said Xiao.

Photo of Xiao Jia by Cong Yan. /CGTN

Photo of Xiao Jia by Cong Yan. /CGTN

Sixty-year-old Yu Tu writes fables. He was rejected from high school due to his disability. He's realized that social change is moving in a better direction and he's called on disabled people to strive for their rights.

"Through this platform, we know the different experiences of 26 people. We can see they are all brave and positive. We hope society pays more attention to improve the living conditions of disabled people," said Yu, adding, "We long for a better living environment and fair treatment, it's our right. And we should realize that equality can be strived for."

The exhibition features 26 photos from Sweden and China. Cong Yan, an independent Chinese photographer, shot 12 of them in China.

Photo of Sara Shamloo. /CGTN

Photo of Sara Shamloo. /CGTN

"The intention of this exhibition is to combat stereotypes against people with disabilities, especially in Chinese context, I think we still tend to think that people with disabilities were weak and dependent on other people or they have to be taking care of by other people. I really want to show a different side of this group, I want to show that a lot of them are dignified, and a lot of them are independent," said Cong, adding, "I just want them to present themselves as they want in front of the lenses."

Twenty-six photos could not tell the full stories of 90 million disabled people in China, or those of 70,000 in Sweden. But their voices should be heard, along with their desire for equal treatment.

The exhibition runs until May, along with a series of workshops during the weekends.

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