To re-imagine something is to take something and imagine it in a new way, a different way, in an inclusive way and sometimes in a thought-provoking way. In 2015, Yes Disability Resource Centre spoke to a group of young people and asked them what it would look like if we were to remove stigmas and preconceptions of youth with disabilities.
They came up with a photo exhibition that featured young disabled people re-enacting famous album covers. The exhibition was held in Silo Park for the duration of Youth Week 2015, then travelling to Wellington, and in May this year being part of an installation in Takapuna.
Now it’s 2019, and the same question has been asked but this time it wasn’t us doing the asking. The young people asked each other and came to us with a plan. This plan was Re:imagine Voyager, where young Pacific and Mäori people with disabilities are dressed and represent leadership roles in their cultural identities. To further break down stigmas and barriers associated with both disability gender specific roles, there are both male and female representatives that form a powerful statement with thought-provoking images.
We finished the photo-shoots in August and with it we recorded the stories of these young people and their journeys of finding strength, establishing connections and identity. It has become more than just showing young disabled people in leadership positions, but building the foundation that these young people are leaders with valuable skills, assets and passions.
As young people start to really lead the way with the changes, they want to see if we should all be re-imagining a better inclusive future.
The exhibition will be on show throughout Auckland, with its final installation at Northart here on the North Shore from December 3 to 9. For more information, contact Yes Disability on (09) 414 5360 or www.yesdisability.org.nz