Last Saturday (4th September 2010), I attended my very first Liberty Festival at Trafalgar Square in London.

I had a very interesting day, interviewing participants, exploring the different events and chatting to the general public.

Like I said it was an interesting day and so here is where we go slightly left of field…

I got really annoyed because throughout the day people and by people I am referring to the ‘normative tourists’, those without disabilities or any political understanding of disability who kept trying to get photographs of those of us who looked ‘weird’.

In this video below, I interview a woman who I had just caught taking a photograph of me and my sister while we were minding our own business, checking out the festival. She didn’t have any idea I was an actress, so if you think she was snapping me for my ‘fame’ value, it wasn’t.

Anyway, I pounced on this opportunity to get an interview with one of ‘those’ people who “don’t get it”. I wanted to know what she made of the festival. Unfortunately she genuinely thought she was at some sort of ‘exhibition’ and was surprised to see so many ‘people like me’ by that I assume she meant people with dwarfism. See this interview below.

On a lighter note;

I got to flirt with Francesca Martinez, who you might remember appearing alongside Ricky Gervais in Extras. She was at Liberty doing some stand-up. This video has no value what-so-ever… except make me feel a little bit special.

I tell you this woman made me feel like a girl in an American movie who’d just had her braces taken off…

And for a final word from a Liberty festival virgin and the only interviewee I managed to patronise, which is ironic as he was the only non-disabled interview… Check out this little scoop with Francesca’s brother, Raoul Martinez.

I didn’t mean to sound like I was talking down to him and I know he is talented in his own right, with work currently showing at the National Portrait Gallery, but it can be so awkward talking to those sort of people. I am just not used to it, I mean. How does one stand? What do you do if there are communication issues? Will he understand me?

For further interviews with a few of the charities and organisations at the Liberty Festival that I managed to grab a few moments with, click on the links below.


Heart and Soul
http://www.heartnsoul.co.uk/


Artsline
http://www.artsline.org.uk/

Attitude is Everything
http://www.attitudeiseverything.org.uk/


Independent Living Alternative
http://www.ilanet.co.uk/

Thank you to everyone who let me interview them. I am sorry if not all the videos made it online.

Regards,

Kiruna x

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. marvellous! Wasnt that bog to die for! x

    Reply
  2. Great blog and sorry you felt patronised by people I took pictures of you and your sister but in a nice way as I wanted to show that I met you am no way prejudiced or patronising.

    Nice to meet you and Peta there!

    Reply
    • That’s different Katie, you know me, also my sister and you know me as an actress. That’s different from taking a picture of me because you’ve never seen anyone with dwarfism before and assume them to be on display or public property… or exhibiting…

      Reply
  3. I was also at the festival, so sorry I missed you. When I was watching the ariel performers, a little girl in front of me remarked to her father ‘that lady has only one leg!’ and pointed at the fabulous amputee dancer in front of her. It made me chuckle and although I’m quite a cynical person, I hope that it made her think a bit more positively about disabled people, if only for a moment.

    P.S And if she’d looked behind her, she would have seen an even more amazing sight….mwahahahahahahaha

    Reply
  4. I suppose that’s something at least and it must have made the little girl think more about difference. I think every child who visited with their mums and dads and families must have learnt something there at the festival.

    It certainly made me enthusiasic and got to network with others, like Heart n Soul and Shape.

    Actually meeting different people and the ones I knew was great as I never see people I know and like with disabilities that often and Liberty is a great place to meet friends that you know with disabilities.

    Victoria- You certainly changed my mind about difference when I met you and my colleague Hanna’s perspective, and Kiruna, I may know you as an actress but Saturday I knew you as an individual and your sister too!

    Reply

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