From 25 September to 24 October 2021, the exhibition "AccessAbility" will be brought to InterCulture's space in Guangzhou's Huangpu Ancient Port. AccessAbility portrays 26 individuals from various backgrounds and walks of life; 26 people whose hopes, desires, and dreams are shared with the visitors of this exhibition; 26 people who have different types of disabilities but who all stand for themselves, not for their disability. Their common message is that impairment does not determine who you are.


The exhibition will also display textiles developed by Universal Fashion Lab (UFL) of the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT), as well as wheelchairs with different functions, in order to enhance public understanding of the needs of people with disabilities.


Why is the title called "AccessAbility"? In the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the term "accessibility", instead of "barrier-free", indicates that every individual is capable of integrating into society in a meaningful and equal way. In the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the slogan "Leave no one behind" is the central promise that each UN member undertakes to work towards closing the gaps of inequality by combating discrimination and by incorporating accessibility in everyday life.


This project intends to visualize that all individuals can contribute to a more diverse and equal society.  The 26 portrays cannot tell the whole story about the lives of some 90 million people with disabilities in China, nor the 70,000 people registered as having disabilities in Sweden. But their voices tell us that there is more that unites us than divides us.


With the exhibition of these 26 portraits, and a series of interactive side events, InterCulture wants to convey that we are one of a kind; we all want a life in dignity, in a world that treats all of us fairly and equally. This fight has not yet been won. But if arts give everyone the same chance to be seen and heard, this seems to be a step in the right direction.


AccessAbility is a co-production between the Swedish Institute, the Danish Cultural Centre and InterCulture. Portraits were captured by Swedish photographer and filmmaker Markus Marcetic, and by the independent Beijing-based photographer CONG Yan.