HEAR MY VOICE…….SEPTEMBER 2014
It’s obvious…….isn’t it?
That people with a learning disability should be treated with the same respect as everybody else? That people with a learning disability should have the same quality of healthcare, education and support in life as anyone else?
But……they don’t always get it.
Back in March I travelled around the country with the fabulous team from MENCAP, to take photographs for their ‘Hear My Voice’ campaign. We listened to stories told by people who have a learning disability and also stories from friends and families of those with a learning disability.
We heard stories from people like Kelly, who has been the victim of bullying for many, many years. If we or our children had to deal with some of the abuse and torment that she had gone through, we would have expected the police to have taken it seriously.
But, because she has a learning disability, somehow the police view her abuse as less important.
Words like ‘retard’ or ‘mong’, which are starting to creep back in to the playground, are seen as ‘funny’ and harmless, but, these are not affectionate terms, they are terms of abuse and it is a quick step from the playground to use on the street.
Over half of disabled people in the UK have experienced hostility, aggression or violence from a stranger because of their disability. In the last two years there were 124,000 disability hate crimes. Only 1% resulted in prosecutions.
Kelly is harassed daily and the police tell her to “just ignore it.” Would you……just ignore it?
You can see Kelly’s story HERE:
Mencap Manifesto HERE:
Or, Simon who had spent 15 months at the notorious Winterbourne View where he was abused and neglected. Or, Jayne and Jonathon, whose brother Paul died of neglect in hospital, because his life wasn’t valued.
Every year 1,200 people with a learning disability die avoidably in the NHS. People like Paul.
Mencap work in partnership with people with a learning disability, and all their services support people to live life as they choose.
People with a learning disability aged 18 or over have the same legal rights and freedoms as anyone else and that includes the same right to vote. In the 2015 general election we will all decide who will run our country for the next five years.
Now, there are 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK and millions more who are connected to them in someway and that is a huge amount of people who have the chance to speak up together and tell our future mp’s what matters!
LONDON LIDO’S, LONDON WALKS, LONDON IN THE SUMMER…….
I think it is called a ‘staycation’…….I LOVE IT and this is official……London in the summer is WONDERFUL!
There are a number of Lido’s in London and we tried to get to all of them.
Still a few to go, but the weather was great, and fun was had by all.
Also, the Capital ring is proving to be a great experience.
(It has only felt like the 1979 film ‘The Warriors’ once!!)
We started at Kenton and have been going clockwise and the best stage, so far, has been from Stoke Newington to Hackney Wick.
The kids are Instagramming and taking pics like mad, which can’t be a bad thing.
The Churchill Arms on Kensington Church Street. (Photo: Daniel Bailey)
Brockwell Park Lido. (Photo: Daniel Bailey)
Brockwell Park Lido. (Photo: Fiona Bailey)
Hampton Lido. (Photo: Daniel Bailey)
Broken Heart, Highgate old railway line. (Photo: Daniel Bailey)
River Lee. (Photo: Daniel Bailey)
Tower of London poppies.
MODERN FARMER MAGAZINE, ELDERLY PEOPLE AND THE LONDON RING…….
I’m writing this halfway through September…….oops……. and have just received my copy of Modern Farmer magazine in the post, which as always, is beautifully designed and has great articles.
It really does look great and I have made the cover again, which is nice!
It also means that I can post up some of the other shots I took of cows at the Three Counties Show. My favourite is the Highland cow. Shaggy and proud!
A few more photos for AGE UK Kingston, of visitors to their day centre. I do enjoy taking photographs for them and a pleasant day was spent chatting to some real characters and reminiscing about their old friends.
Oh, and Kevin at Mencap told me about this 80 mile walk around London! It is in 15 sections and is great. It takes you to parts of london you might never have gone to. The kids are loving it and we have had friends joining us on different sections. Still got another 10 sections to go though…….http://www.walklondon.org.uk/route.asp?R=1
English Longhorn Bull
British Blonde Bull
British White Cow
Capital Ring, Hackney Wick
MY PERSPECTIVE, INGENUITY AND RUNNING ABOUT…….
Although funding for the Shifting Perspectives exhibition ended in 2013, GlaxoSmithKline still sponsor ‘My Perspective’. My Perspective is a photography competition for people with Down’s syndrome. The annual competition is open to anyone with Down’s syndrome and the only rules are that 1. You must have Down’s syndrome and 2. You must have taken the photograph yourself.
Of the three hundred entries I edit them down to 25 finalists. These 25 images are then ‘judged’ by a panel chosen by the Down’s Syndrome Association. The awards ceremony is held at The Orangery in Kew Gardens, and for the fourth year running it has been a simply beautiful evening. This years winner was Stephen Thomas who received a Canon camera as his prize.
Stephen Thomas, My perspective 2014 Winner
David Kenward, My perspective finalist
Katy Francis, My perspective finalist
I have mentioned this very small charity before, because I just love what they do and I love working with them. Here are two examples of the way they change the lives of the people involved:
Meg loved needlework, but had a stroke which meant that she couldn’t use her left arm. It’s pretty hard threading a needle with one hand, so after her thread had run out she would have to wait for someone to come and thread the needle for her. Remap came along and ‘invented’ this very simple device that now allows her to thread her own needle and carry on sewing for as long as she wants. Brilliant!
Then……..there is Kumba who has Polio and also has triplets! What if she wants to go out? Well, Remap designed, and fitted to her existing wheelchair, a system for all three children to be carried. But….. this was moveable so that she could fit through doors with them as well. Ingenious!
And it all makes you count your blessings, because then we start running about the place and do another triathlon. In the lovely grounds of Blenheim, we swim, cycle, run and raise a bit of money for Billie-Jo’s dance group ‘I Can Dance’.
DOGS, DOGS AND DOGGIES.
Well, I’m playing catch up…….again…….and writing this in August!
So this is just a quick one.
I’m still collecting stories for my ‘Here I Am’ project, so if you have a story about where and why, you or someone you know, scattered the ashes of a loved in a particular place, then please do let me know.
Working with Modern Farmer magazine over this past year or so has been a real pleasure.
It is such a beautifully designed and produced magazine, with well written and wonderfully illustrated articles for anyone who has an interest in ‘food’ and animals.
Next up are the cows and BIG bulls, but in the meantime I mentioned that I was shooting dogs for them, well here are a few of them…….
Old English Sheepdog
‘HEAR MY VOICE’ CAMPAIGN, PIGLETS AND DOGS.
Between various universities, MENCAP and Modern Farmer magazine I am out and about shooting pretty much every day this month.
A very pleasant week is spent in the company of the good people at MENCAP.
We are shooting for their ‘Hear my voice’ campaign. As you are probably aware (from previous posts) my daughter has Down’s syndrome, so this shoot and the work Mencap do is especially important to me.
In the run up to next years general election, this campaign aims to give people with a learning difficulty a voice, so that their concerns can be heard. Along for the ride is the delightful and talented videographer Chantal Scurr who is making the films, which can be seen here: ‘HEAR MY VOICE’
Again I am playing catch up on this blog…….but,
Modern farmer, modern farmer, I do love modern farmer!
Although this month it has been all about the dogs, here are the pigs from earlier on in the year…..
(Wait till you see the cover of the ‘dog issue’!)
Oh, and they are winning awards…
Only one year old and it has already beaten famous titles like Vanity Fair and GQ at the National Magazine Awards, held in New York, to win one of the United States most prestigious print media awards. And the category they won in, just happened to be the section with all my ‘animal portraits’ in.
Very nice too……..
And if you want to see me scrabbling about in a pig pen (sort of) there is a funny little film at the bottom of the page if you click HERE.
TOKYO, TOKYO, TOKYO…….
Another busy, busy month…….
It was ALL about Tokyo, but before that……..
There was a trip to the Wellcome Trust Awards private view.
Some of my images, which are in their library, were up for the awards. The winning images are quite extraordinary close-ups of such things like flower stamen and a kidney stone…ouch! You can see the images here: WELLCOME IMAGE AWARDS
Still on the medical front, I had the pleasure of photographing Professor Dame Carol Black. She is a family friend and I have been taking photographs of her over the last decade or so. I am always in awe of the good work she has done and what she has achieved in her life.
Another trip to Parliament, this time for Sheffield University. Walking past statues of Cromwell, Disraeli, Galdstone etc the feeling of history pervades the place and even though this country has it’s many faults, I can’t help but feel it is a privilege to live in such a democratic country.
Another exhibition and Private View, this time to Suzie Moffat’s – Heart & Sold.
Suzie has curated a body of work by people who have Down’s syndrome and has produced a quite wonderful exhibition. The work is of the highest standard and she has created an exhibition that shows off the talent well. Here is a short film from the opening night by the young film maker Agi k : OPENING NIGHT FILM
And THEN it was off to…………..Tokyo baby!
Last March, the wonderful Maiko Watanabe asked me to send over a small Shifting Perspectives exhibition to Osaka. I designed some boards, we had the text translated into Japanese and the exhibition was received so well that the Japanese Down Syndrome Society asked if they could have a larger exhibition in Tokyo.
And then they invited me out to give a few talks…which was nice. (Fiona decided that she ought to accompany me, so off we went to Tokyo.)
A lot of work went in to preparing the prints and (virtually) working out which work should be what size and hang where on the gallery wall, so moments after an eventful and delayed flight, I was very happy to walk in to the Itochu Art Gallery to see the work brilliantly printed and hung perfectly.
And then it was a whirlwind of talks and engagements and interviews. The highlight was a Q & A session at the gallery, with the internationally acclaimed photographer and all round very decent man, Joji Hashiguchi. It was a real honour to meet ‘George’ as I have been aware of his work for many years.
We met so many people and were treated like royalty.
From visits to the fish market and sushi breakfasts, to visiting one of our hosts grandparent’s house and more sushi, to very fancy BBQ restaurants, to the oddness of Shubaya crossing, to a golf driving range on three floors in the middle of the city at 10pm, to taxi doors that open automatically, to the general politeness and cleanliness………..to the great fashion sense, to all the bowing and handing over of business cards, to the sense of excitement that grips the whole city at the imminence of the cherry blossom, to the sense of tradition………..I could go on, but I think that you can tell……. I LOVE Tokyo!
And, of course, the exhibition was a great success!
One of my works is a series called ‘365’. The Japanese had asked if they could do their own ‘365’ and of course I said yes. The brilliant photographer Eri Takahashi took the photographs and was so happy with being part of the whole ‘project’, that she is going to carry on working with JDS to create their own photographic work.
A huge, massive thank you to all the many people who were involved in the exhibition and who all made it such great success and such a memorable trip.
And here are a few photos!
Shifting Perspectives exhibition, Itochu Aoyama Art Square
Kazuhiro Takemura, Richard Bailey, Joji Hashiguchi, Maiko Watanabe
The film director – Takashi Tokida, Kazuhiro Takemura
Mr Junko Nakanishi, Director of JDS.
Very early fish market breakfast…
Only Mrs B at Shubaya Crossing!