Changing Perceptions

Photo by Eduardo Martins
The Taipa Village Cultural Association launches DREAM WITH LOVE
Last month, the Taipa Village Cultural Association, in collaboration with the British Council and the Macao Digital Photography Association, launched the DREAM WITH LoVE campaign at the Taipa Houses Museum
The DREAM WITH LOVE campaign aims to support the local underprivileged community and disabled people by promoting the value of social inclusion by raising the profile of the disabled community and creating a positive profile in society through love and dedication.
A highlight of the event is the impressive 11 Million Reasons photography exhibit, featuring 20 powerful, emotive and humorous images, inspired by iconic dance moments from classic films.
“The purpose of this exhibition is to change perceptions of the public towards people with different disabilities,” explains Antony J. Chan, Head of Arts and Creative Industries for the British Council in Hong Kong.
“It’s not just about the artwork, but how we create a dialogue to address these issues and make people more interested and aware. We hope to create opportunities for people to exchange views and discuss,” he adds.
Antony goes on to explain that when the exhibition was conceptualized in 2014, there were 11.6 million people registered as being disabled in the UK, hence the title of the exhibition. It toured the UK for two years, making its first Asian stop in Hong Kong last year.
“The exhibition focuses on people who love dancing, so through dance they can express themselves and change perceptions. The producers looked at iconic films from the past 60 years with famous dance and musical scenes. Twenty films were selected and the photos represent key moments from those films,” he notes.
Altogether, the production went to 12 different locations and involved 160 people and 20 photoshoots. Antony points out two of his favourite images as he guides us through the exhibition on its opening night.
“Each image has its own message. Dirty Dancing shows a manifestation of strength and balance and tells us that people with disabilities can be heroes too.
“The image based on the movie Black Swan conveys that it doesn’t matter what kind of disabilities you have, as long as you are confident in yourself, you can do anything.”
The project was conceptualized by People Dancing, a community dance organization based in the UK, with photography by Sean Goldthorpe.
“The British Council always promotes the arts and we always work in partnership with UK artists and local partners, so this exhibition is a great example of how we can work together.”
To enhance the experience for visitors, the exhibit also features a multimedia room with short behind-the-scenes videos - six short films with interviews with the dancers. Visitors can also download the QR codes on each image for more background information.
Attending the opening ceremony was Mr. João Ó, President of the Taipa Village Cultural Association.
“To mark the first anniversary of the Taipa Village Cultural Association, we are thrilled to contribute and present the DREAM WITH LOVE community campaign to extend our care and dedication to the disabled and underprivileged community in Macau,” he stated in his opening address.
Also on display at the exhibition are two specially created local photography series – The Harmony Collection and The Dream Collection - unveiling the beauty and authenticity of disability art. The Harmony Collection captures the magical moments of interaction between the local community, merchants, the underprivileged community and disabled during community events, through 10 joyful and touching images.
The Dream Collection shows the results of photography workshops provided to disabled participants by professional photographers, allowing the former to share and learn about photography theory and shooting skills, to deliver the positive message of “Physical Constraints Do Not Affect Personal Ability” to the general public.
“There are currently 20,000 disabled people in Macau, who require care and attention. We are conscious of the need to raise a positive profile of the disabled community to promote a spirit of unity,” notes João Ó.
“To accomplish this objective, the DREAM WITH LOVE community campaign aims to integrate art and the community by offering a platform for the disabled to build up their confidence, while showcasing themselves to highlight the fact that talent has no limits.”
Dream With Love Campaign
Taipa Houses Museum
Until 2017 / 10 / 6