Special Artist Festival endeavors to change images toward disabled
Special Artist Festival endeavors to change images toward disabled
  • Yoon Hye-joon
  • 승인 2015.05.11 09:53
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The Special Artist Festival (SAF), an art festival for disabled artists, was held on May 9 at Lee San-bong Hall at the Ewha Campus Complex, hosted by Ewha Womans University and SBA and run by Ewha International Convention Management Center.The festival was held to offer students a chance to meet disabled artists and to support their financial independence.During the opening ceremony, writer Lee Ji-sun gave a speech entitled “Special dream, hand, happiness.” She is a well-known Ewha alumnus who overcame severe burns on her entire body from a car accident and became a writer.After the opening ceremony, a special session followed. In this session, the works of various artists that fit under the theme of “Everyone has special hands” were exhibited.Besides the opening ceremony and the special session, the festival was comprised of mainly two parts: a general session for the general public and a business session for companies at Lee San-bong Hall and ECC theater, respectively.During the general session, the event focused on the artists’ talks. Singer Kang Won-rae, painter Seok Chang-woo, pianist Lee Hee-ah and her mother shared their stories of the obstacles they have faced in the past. These artists all overcame their physical disabilities. Singer Kang Won-rae was a famous singer in the 90s and was paralyzed from waist down by a motorcycle accident. Seok Chang-woo is a painter with a prosthetic hand, and pianist Lee Hee-ah was born with only two fingers on each hand but she became a pianist with arduous practice.The business session held various sub-sessions under the topic of Creating Shared Value (CSV) with a seminar, an auction and a network building time for companies. Moreover, various events, such as the “Celebrate Our Hands” and “Special Artist Movie Day” were held. In the Celebrate Our Hands event, there was a market place called the Fun Market which displays and sells the works of the disabled artists. On the Special Artist Movie Day, three movies exploring different challenges and meanings of disabilities were shown: Hello, Whisper of Heaven and Oasis. After each movie, a discussion session followed, in which actor Go Kyung-pyo talked about the movie with spectators and further discussed the meaning of disability.Professor Paek Jee-yon from the International Office Administration who is in charge of the SAF hopes the festival will change people’s perception toward disabilities and bring recognition toward disabled people and remind people of the value of moderation in consumption.“I hope the SAF would offer the public an opportunity to think of disabled artists as people who are living a new life by overcoming their limitations with art,” said professor Paek. “Also, they would look back at their at spending habits through the CSV seminars.”

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