From Sweden comes this enlightening article - The Endangered - about an exhibit in Stockholm called "Icons: An Exhibition about Existing". It features people with Down syndrome portrayed as "beautiful and powerful, as kings, rock idols, movie stars, ballerinas, martyrs, freedom fighters, artists ... and why not, if we now truly think that diversity and human equality is valuable."
And from the author, "But what if we actually need this part of the population, for the good of our society?"
The exhibit is "21 people with an extra 21st chromosome. Here they tell us about their lives."
I enjoyed the interviews given of each of the models and reading their thoughts and emotions. Here are several quotes that stuck out to me.
- I have 3 things: epilepsy, a developmental disorder, and Down syndrome. The worst is epilepsy. Down syndrome is ok.
- I don't think that life is hard or tough ... I get by. Everything with having Down syndrome is good, I think. I can say that I feel happy and I forgive others and I forgive myself."
- Why do I have this? Do other people think it's weird? Am I ugly? I was sad and didn't want to have Down syndrome. It was because I understood there was a difference. My life is good. If I could choose, I'd rather take away my diabetes, that is tough.
- I've felt angry about it - and wounded. Quite simply, I just want to be like everyone else. I want to be loved and be liked.
- Different is the best word. I am different and I'm not sorry, I have my love, music and my poems.
Go read the rest of the interviews and be enlightened!