Walking differently but dreaming alike

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

People with disabilities often have to struggle to find their identity and fulfill their dreams and life goals. In fact most people, abled-bodied or not, struggle with the exact same thing all their life. Of course that struggle does get tougher if you have a physical disability. But people with disabilities just want the same thing that non disabled people want: fulfill their dreams.

Size: The original (digital file) is 90x80cm (35.4×31.5 inches)
Technique: mixed media (photo, pencil drawing, paper collage, photomanipulation)

Walking Differently but Dreaming Alike by Ina Mar
Walking Differently but Dreaming Alike by Ina Mar

The model, Anke-Maria Sander suffers from Friedreich’s Ataxia, a degenerative, genetic, neuro-muscular disease, for which there is no cure. She uses a wheelchair since she was 15. Anke is my inspiration and consultant for this disability awareness series.

P.S. Sometimes abled-bodied people need details of suffering, in order to recognize disability. I portray disability in a way that it is not directly visible. The girl is not IN the wheelchair, I don’t show her deformed legs or any of the barriers she confronts every day. I do this in purpose. I don’t think I have to satisfy people’s need for horror scenes in order to accomplish more understanding for people with disabilities.

I move slowly so I can enjoy every single moment of life…

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

I usually walk very fast, you know, I am (or pretend to be) a busy busy girl, or rather I am incapable of managing my time… I come too late for work because I wanted to create just one more design. Mostly late for appointments because I decided to do my taxes one hour before the appointment. Then I run to catch the bus, to catch the subway…
And the opposite, if I don’t have an appointment and am just walking alone, it’s for me impossible to walk normally, because I have to stop every two metres to take a photo or take a look at something: one more picture from this side of view, one more from the next side of view, which one is the best? Oh, the next one!

There are some many beautiful details in our every day environment, and they are changing and developping every single day! I sometimes envy people who (due to a disability) are confined to and gifted with a slow walk, because they have the time to contemplate all this during they are walking! This thought made me create the following slogan:

Disability Optimism Women’s Cap Sleeve T-Shirt

I know this particular font is a bit difficult to read, but I love it, it’s so positive, like every word is smiling out the message…

Here’s the message a fellow designer sent me about this shirt:
I loved “I move slowly so I can enjoy every moment of life.” You can’t tell that I have partially numb feet so I walk slowly making sure my foot is on the ground before taking the next step. I don’t look like I am walking differently except slow. Since there doesn’t look like there is anything wrong with me I hear a lot of HMMMPPPHHHHs!!! in back of me. I have nerve damage that fortunately won’t get worse but I’d rather walk a little slower than fall down. And I am not all that slow. Like not as slow as someone that has to use a walker for example. But I do enjoy when someone who is extra indignant has the nerve to say something and I say, “Oh I’m sorry if my nerve damaged feet move too slowly to suit you. Please forgive me for even trying to breath the same air as you.” I often get an apology and hopefully taught that person that not all disabilities are recognizable. My other favorite is, “sorry you didn’t have your lights and siren on so I can get out of the way for your emergency!!!”. I have to say more people are polite then rude, so the rude ones I consider entertainment LMAO.

Thanks Rhonda for your wonderful message!