Pictures worth a thousand words

August 5, 2022

Every person portrayed in this multimedia exhibition has a story to tell, but their pictures alone are worth a thousand words. More than a thousand.

Take a moment with us’ is an IHC travelling multimedia exhibition that has grown and evolved as it has moved around the country. This year it will open on 15 August at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato in Hamilton.

The exhibition is a glimpse into the lives of people living with many challenges to daily living and barriers of access and understanding – all looking to be included in their communities.

Moana Parker is Māori and was born in Whanganui. She has lived a life separated from her family. At the age of 10, Moana went to live at Salisbury School in Nelson, a school for disabled girls. She remembers it as a hard time. “I didn’t know any people.” She stayed there until she was 16. Much of her working life has been spent in Wellington, working for IHC, or volunteering for other organisations. “It doesn’t matter what you look like, where you come from – it’s where your heart is,” Moana says.

Tatiana and Lania Vaireka are passionate participants in kapa haka, competing and performing in the Wainuiomata High School kapa haka group Te Tira Whakaau. It’s something the sisters take very seriously.

Tatiana, who has the rare genetic disorder Williams syndrome, has been participating in kapa haka for six years. “It’s a part of my culture – Māori language and music. It’s about who you are and where you come from.”

Alexander Szydlowski works hard to achieve things his mates at school take for granted. He has Down syndrome and low vision and he finds it tiring understanding and being understood. But Alexander seems to come alive when he is outside on the trampoline, or at the beach or nearby native botanic garden with his brother and sister, twins Thomas and Sienna.

Mum Amalia says Alexander enjoys his life. “We love him to bits. There are times when, to me, he is perfect. His life absolutely has value.”

Take a moment with us features photographs by Christchurch documentary maker and photographer Bridgit Anderson and video footage shot and edited by Sam Morrison, Tania McKenzie Bellam and Jasper O’Donnell.

Bridgit, Sam and Tania filmed in Auckland, Christchurch, Waikato, Wellington and Manawatū – and the result is a showcase of people with intellectual disabilities from every walk of life.

Bridgit is a Christchurch-based documentary and portrait photographer. She specialises in human-interest stories and related educational projects and her work has been widely published and exhibited throughout New Zealand.

Sam was a former IHC National Self Advocacy Coordinator. He is an artist and has a Master of Visual Arts degree from Auckland University of Technology. Tania is a videographer and photographer and works as a digital media producer at IHC. Jasper is a Wellington videographer.

Take a moment with us is created, funded and managed by IHC New Zealand.

Caption 1: Alexander Szydlowski with his brother and sister, seven-year-old twins Thomas and Sienna.

Caption 2: Moana Parker is Māori and was born in Whanganui. She has lived a life separated from her family.

Caption 3: Tatiana and Lania Vaireka take competing and performing in the Wainuiomata High School kapa haka group Te Tira Whakaau very seriously.

 

This story was published in Strong Voices. The magazine is posted free to all IHC membersRead the full issue of Strong Voices or view more articles.