Exhibition embraces diversity and commemorates inclusion

"I have a disability and I work hard, just like everybody else. I don’t let people treat me differently because of my disability," said Florence, a member of the Maasai people of southern Kenya.

Florence, pictured, from the Maasai community in southern Kenya, says she does not permit people to treat her differently on account of her disability. © Christian TassoFlorence manages the home and cares for her four children, making sure they keep up with school.  She also looks after her extended family, including another member with a disability.  She acknowledges that while they may face challenges because of their disability, "the most important thing is that we live here altogether and support each other, like all families do."

Florence is one of subjects of a "FifteenPercent", an exhibition of photographs by Italian photographer Christian Tasso. Since 2015, Tasso has travelled the world photographing people with disabilities in an effort to "raise awareness and understanding that our communities are ever enriched by the diversity of its members, be they persons with disabilities, women, youth, older person, and all other groups."

Each photograph shows the subject in their own surroundings, in their family, in their community.

"Every frame of the project is centred on the personal story of the subject first and foremost as an individual with their personal attitudes and ambitions, their disability is just one element among many of their intersecting identities," he said in an introduction to the project.

The exhibition of 50 photographs will be on display in Palais des Nations as part of the celebrations of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which encourages celebration of difference and diversity across humanity and recognition that communities are enriched through diversity. The exhibition has the full complement of accessibility features including Braille captioning of photographs, audio descriptions of selected photographs available in the United Nations languages, large print format and captions for the video included in the exhibition. These measures make FifteenPercent one of the most accessible exhibitions displayed at Palais des Nations.

The exhibition is sponsored by The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Disability and Accessibility, the International Disability Alliance (IDA), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the ICRC MoveAbility Foundation, the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit and the Permanent Missions to the United Nations in Geneva of: Australia, Bulgaria, Ecuador, Finland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Portugal and Turkey.

The exhibition can be viewed at Palais des Nations until 10 December 2018. Registration to visit the exhibition and attend the opening on 3 December at 4pm.

3 December 2018

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