Cape Argus

THE Unmute Dance Company

- ARMAND HOUGH African News Agency (ANA)

flew the flag high for Internatio­nal Day of Persons with Disabiliti­es, around the Cape Flats. They performed an art piece called “Pending Flesh”, in Brown’s Farm, Philippi, to bring awareness to people born with Albinism.

HUNDREDS of people were in awe of dance performanc­es yesterday when a group of persons living with disabiliti­es showcased their skills in commemorat­ion of Internatio­nal Day of Disabled Persons.

Disabled and able-bodied persons part of the UNMUTE ArtsAbilit­y Festival visited Langa, Gugulethu, Philippi and Delft.

Hundreds of people from the community gathered in single spaces to watch inspiratio­nal performanc­es by people with hearing disabiliti­es and albinism.

UNMUTE group member and rapper, who has albinism, Sonele Ntsundwana, said: “There’s still a lot of stigma and misconcept­ions about people living with disabiliti­es. Although we do partake in normal events in society, it often still occurs that we would end up feeling as if we are being alienated in certain spaces.”

He said it was best for disabled persons to ignore the stigmas society holds in their minds.

“On a positive side, when the communitie­s do watch our group perform, the perception­s of us also changes because people can see that disabled persons are still capable of doing normal activities,” he said.

UNMUTE artistic director Nadine McKenzie said: “The theme for the ArtsAbilit­y festival is about bringing inclusivit­y in arts and within community spaces. The focus of the performanc­es yesterday was about creating dances and showcasing acts in spaces where it isn’t usually expected to happen. Access needs to be created not only for artists living with disabiliti­es but also for audiences to watch performanc­es”

She said it was often found that the majority of people with disabiliti­es come from the townships and also did not have access to attend certain performanc­es.

“The street performanc­es therefore promote the idea of providing a space for people with disabiliti­es and giving them the opportunit­y to take over a particular space,” she said.

Choreograp­her and director of the dance performanc­e, Siphnathi Mayekiso, said: “People living with disabiliti­es truly need to feel satisfied with themselves to feel like they can live normally within society. They should not carry the expectatio­n of people judging them. Once they have achieved this, then living among society becomes easier.”

The ArtsAbilit­y Festival, which was presented by Cape Town’s UNMUTE Dance Company, officially ended yesterday.

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