As part of the National Council of Social Services’ See True Me Campaign, Inclusion Ambassadors from Disabled People’s Association hosted conversations with members of the public for ‘Let’s Chat about Photography’ at the National Museum of Singapore (NMS) on the 16th March 2019.
This Let’s Chat was themed to tie in with the ‘In an Instant: Polaroid at the Intersection of Art and Technology’ exhibition at the NMS. For the first half of the event, DPA Inclusion Ambassadors Lily Goh, Husnah Jamaludin, Iskander Shah Ismail, William Hiu had dialogues with participants about photographs they took, they were joined by Ong Wee Kiat, who is a photographer, a student and has Asperger’s Syndrome. Members of the public were also able to enjoy games and activities that were led by DPA Inclusion Ambassadors and designed to give them a better understanding of the experience of having a disability. One such game was a giant Tic Tac Toe game that people were asked to play wearing goggles that somewhat obscured their vision. The remaining Inclusion Ambassadors, Eugene Tan, Raymond Lee and Mohaimin Tokyan, ran the interactive booths.
For the second half of the event, attendees got to see new video for the See the True Me campaign entitled ‘Fire and the Rain’. It is an original song composition by singer-songwriter Don Richmond, with performances from people with disabilities including local rapper ShiGGa Shay, Adelyn Koh, Danial Bawthan a.k.a. Wheelsmith, Joshua Allen German, Sarah Jane, Charlene Wong, Isabelle Lim, dancers from local deaf hip-hop dance group Redeafination and backed by an inclusive choir.
Following the video, participants were treated to a silent talk by Isabelle Lim (Facebook @hello.issyshoots), a Deaf photographer who you will recognise from the See the True Me video and as one of the faces of the Purple Parade. Isabelle presented her story from being born with Nager’s Syndrome to how she got into photography and her creative process. Isabelle communicated by typing her presentation and it was projected onto the wall behind the stage alongside photos she had selected. Isabelle shared how an uncle noticed her artistic eye and gifted her the first camera. She then went on to study at La Salle College of the Arts thanks to being the first recipient of the ‘Dare to Dream’ scholarship. Isabelle has since had various solo exhibitions and worked with Leslie Kwee to shoot behind the scenes footage for ‘Ramen Teh’. Isabelle finished the her silent talk by answering questions from the audience with the interpreting assistance of her mother, Jacqui Lim.
The event was great fun for DPA’s Inclusion Ambassadors who were able to share their love of photography and DPA looks forward to future Let’s Chat events with NCSS. Post event feedback showed that participants were able to develop better understanding about persons with disabilities and helped them have more positive and inclusive attitude towards them.
About Let’s Chat:
Let’s Chat are a series of events hosted by DPA Inclusion Ambassadors that provide opportunities for those without disabilities to come and meet persons with disabilities in an informal, fun, engaging and meaningful way. The hope is that attending these events motivates people to start getting to know more persons with disabilities and to widen your social and professional circles.
About the See the True Me:
See The True Me is an awareess campaign designed to help bring persons with and without disabilities closer together and reduce social barriers. This is part of NCSS’s efforts to help us all on our journey to a more inclusiveSG. The three aims of the campaign are:
1. Celebrate the strengths and abilities of persons with disabilities
2. Educate the public on communication tips and support strategies for persons with disabilities
3. Encourage the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society