Artist in Residence 2015, Jason DaSilva
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
(New International Version, NIV)
June 29, 2015
This is my second entry for Spark and Echo Arts. I will outline how things are going for my proposal project, When We Walk.
It has been a fulfilling several months since my last entry where I explained the project, When We Walk. One of the more defining points that I decided upon is to feature other countries from around the world in the video piece. Within this entry are a couple video clips that I edited for inclusion in the final piece. The first one is of myself driving through the streets of Tbilisi in Georgia. I was grateful to be able to travel with the American Film Showcase to show When I Walk in Georgia. I quickly found out that sidewalks and stoplights are things that are not guaranteed – I presumed that these would be available because of living in North America, in New York City.
When We Walk Video Journal #1 - Georgia
The second video is of my travels in Turkey where I showed my previous film, When I Walk, and promoted AXS Map (http://www.axsmap.com/). In all my world travels thus far, I’ve been graced to have so many people helping me as I navigate and try to spread the word about the importance of accessibility. There have been several challenges along the way, and that will continue to be the case. The first one is pretty obvious. These cities are not all set out to be disability-friendly.
When We Walk Video Journal #2 - Turkey
I recently attended the UN Enabled (http://www.un.org/disabilities/) conference where I was able to present AXS Map along with the World Disability Union. The whole conference was an eye-opener for me because I got to see how the world’s disabled community got together to share their voices and work together to raise awareness of their similar issues for our community. I was able interview several people from the disability community on the specifics that they are concerned with. There were several topics that came to the forefront: education, accessibility, and intersection with other minority communities (for example: gender and race, law, and even ageism). While moving forward with the film, it is easy to follow the different threads. One of the biggest challenges will be to remain focused.
During this time, I’ve been writing lots of grant proposals and will continue to do the same along with being consistent with writing for Spark+Echo Arts and the When We Walk blog (https://www.tumblr.com/search/whenwewalk; http://www.sparc.bc.ca/). Writing grants and proposals are the biggest ways to stay focused. I am thankful to Spark+Echo Arts for keeping me grounded and I look forward to continuing the project and presenting it to the world. Another big focus of the piece will be to document MAPATHONS, where we will spread around the world how to use AXS map to find wheelchair accessibility data quickly and efficiently with lots of people in any vicinity. As my vision and hands get worse, I am most thankful for everyone rallying together to support me and AXS Map.
Follow the development of Jason DaSilva’s film project by reading this in addition to his first and third posts as a 2015 Artist in Residence.
All materials are copyrighted by the artist and used here by permission.