Guest lecturer Dániel Csángó in the Introduction to Visual Culture module
Have you ever thought of how you would make it if you got to a wheelchair? – this is how Dániel Csángó began his lecture. Visibility and invisibility are key issues of a visual culture course, so the first question is why disabled people are almost invisible in our society? Do they stay at home? Are they depressed and cannot, neither do they want to go to parties, shopping, doing things that everybody does? Who are their friends? How is their love life? All these were touched upon by Dániel, and most of the assumptions turned out to be stereotypes.
Almost a year ago, Hungarian filmmaker and media celeb, Attila Till directed a film, Kills on Wheels (Tiszta szívvel, you can watch the film in movies with English subtitles). The film is a wheelchair-criminal story, disability viewed from a very unusual angle, not as something “not normal” but rather as different. The film is taking their characters from real life, the two main heroes play themselves. The main heroes of the film, Zoli and Barba, as well as Rupaszov (played by actor Szabolcs Thuróczy) are wheelchair “criminals”, who are making use of the stereotypes that surround them, and the invisibility how they live in society. They turn their disadvantage to an advantage, in a way. The film is raising awareness towards disability in a very amusing way, without imposing the viewer feeling sorry for people who live in a different way.
Dániel Csángó talked about his own life, his accident, his experiences of how people approach him. One of his main goals beyond raising awareness is to change the attitude to disability, as well as that of disabled persons. To struggle against stereotypes and help people living with disabilities, Dániel is the co-founder of Let's Go Out! non-profit organisation. They are building a network of volunteers who can assist disabled people in their free time. This way disabled and non disabled people can also have fun experiences together. Check it out here.
He also talked about details that people do not dare to ask or avoid because of some false sensibility. Sometimes people are too delicate, sometimes too negligent or ignorant. Dániel showed a mirror to us, we could see how we are seen from a wheelchair. Actually, what we need to be aware of is that people are different and can have very different life. They do not want taboos.