Exhibition zooms in on rights of disabled

The exhibition featured photographs of Paralympians, taken by well-known Ukrainian photographer Alexander Morderer.

One might not think that South Africa and the Ukraine have a lot in common. But one exhibition in Cape Town is trying to highlight that they do.

An exhibition organised by the Ukrainian Association of South Africa opened at the Cape Town Central Library on Wednesday November 8, to coincide with National Disability Rights Awareness Month in South Africa.

The exhibition highlights the struggles that people with disabilities face in the Ukraine.

Davinka Kachur, of the Ukrainian Association of South Africa, said the aim of the exhibition was to highlight the power of sport.

“Lots of people from Cape Town have the opportunity to be exposed to different issues. We thought it would be really important to have that as a point of dialogue between Ukraine and South Africa. Those issues are common for countries around the world.”

She said in the Ukraine, due to conflict, there had been a dramatic increase of about 5 000 people with amputations.

“Ukraine wants to send a message to the world that people with disabilities should have equal rights.”

The exhibition includes 17 portraits of Paralympians by well-known Ukrainian photographer Alexander Morderer.

The aim, said Ms Kachur, was to show that despite their disabilities, they could become role models through sport.

“Cape Town is the first place we are having this exhibition for the public. In Ukraine and South Africa the policy is quite good around people with disabilities but everyday life and access remains a question.

“If you look at the statistics in South Africa, there are many people with disabilities who remain unemployed. The specific message of this exhibition is that people (with disabilities) can remain proactive.”