In the despair of terror attacks in Paris and California, we may have almost missed the immense hope and humanity displayed through art in observing the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. As much as ever, we all need that which unites us, gives courage to all and broadens the reach of tolerance (as persons with disabilities are some of most not addressed in inclusive manner.) Perhaps the message of how we can go beyond the perceived and expectations is the best response to the lows man is capable in dealing with fellow human, animals, and shared earth.
On December 3, 2015, UNESCO (based in Paris) had planned a series of events, including exhibitions, films and performances. (See: UNESCO – International Day of Persons with Disabilities – “Inclusion matters: Access & Empowerment for people of all Abilities.) It was unfortunately overshadowed by the political response to the terror attacks. However, the trauma that had engulfed Paris perhaps could have been at least in part lifted by the persons of disabilities among us who wake every day to new trials and travails, the most defining one still being our failure to see these fellow global citizens as being part of “we” – the skills, the will to contribute, and the leadership are a resource we all can benefit from.
For more of Art as Diplomacy, see Diplomat Artist “Cultural Diplomacy“