Sunday, August 10, 2003

Cameraman/producer/editor Stuart McKears e-mails after reading this week's BBC News Online column.

He quotes from a question and answer he gave in an interview with "Dial" magazine:

DIAL: What are the barriers facing disabled people who want to make a career in film and/or television?

Stuart McKears: They must be individuals or groups who are (delete as required): plucky / brave / dauntless /valiant / etc. but oppressed / discriminated against / outraged / persecuted and only capable of making programmes about individuals or groups who are plucky / brave / dauntless / valiant / etc but oppressed / discriminated against / outraged / persecuted.

As if on cue, the front page of today's Sunday Times promises a feature on "The inspirational lives of albinos, amputees and others who triumph over abnormality."

How very original.

However, in response to my statement that "I am not disabled," Mr McKears writes:

Yes, you are. You might not feel disabled, you may not think you are disabled, you may not look disabled but you will now be categorised by the majority of society as disabled who will use it as either a weapon or a commendation. As time passes, you will find that sometimes people are truthful enough to tell you to your face that you can't do this or that but mainly you will find barriers of the mind which while not necessarily closing doors will just fail to open them.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you there. Indeed, as my first foreign assignment since my accident -- scheduled to be Israel and the West Bank in October -- shapes up, it seems that those saying "you can't do this or that" are nowhere to be seen.


Post a Comment

<< Home