By Kyriacos Kiliaris
The village of Galatia (Mehmetcik) in the Karpasia region, is playing host to a photo exhibition entitled ‘Art Knows no Limits’.
The photos are being displayed in the village where the Grape Festival is also taking place this week.
‘Art Knows no Limits’ is a compilation of photographs which either won a prize in a competition that took place earlier in the year, or won the right to be part of the exhibition which is touring the north of Cyprus.
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Sema Cakmak, the head of the Karpasia Lions club, said the project is a very meaningful one and aimed to raise awareness on problems faced by people with disabilities.
Cakmak noted that during a joint meeting with the Lions Club of the Trikomo (Iskele) coast, they decided to bring the exhibition to Galatia in order to raise awareness on the matter.
Given the exhibited photo stories depict the success achieved by people who had overcome their disabilities to achieve their goals, Cakmak said the aim was to show that there are neither limits nor boundaries for those wishing to succeed in life.
The head of the Lions group also thanked sponsors for their significant help in realising the project and the various exhibits. She said the village of Galatia in Karpasia was the fifth stop for the touring exhibition, after it had been displayed at Ayios Nikolaos (Esentepe), Sinda (Inonu), the Mall at the Tymbou (Ercan) airport and the City Mall in Famagusta.
The ‘Art Knows no Limits’ competition and exhibition takes place every year with photographers sending in images of people overcoming their disabilities. This year’s competition had a bit of a twist to it. Photographers had to collaborate with a disabled person, capturing moments from their daily life.
“The aim was to see the world through their eyes,” explained co-organiser and photographer Buket Ozatay.
The head of the Solidarity with the Disabled Association, Omer Suay also shared his thoughts with grape festival-goers.
He said that when he was a child, he had always wanted to acquire computer skills, but was always being put off by people around him who would said things like: “how can a blind kid learn to use a computer?”
“Well, that child finished university, he works on a daily basis with computers and is keeping track of technological advances in his field of interest,” Suay pointed out.
Suay is thus a living example that there is no limit when people really set their minds to achieving their goals.
He said he had been particularly pleased when he heard the theme of the photo competition would be ‘freedom through the eyes of the disabled’.
Speaking at the event, Ahmet Akdeniz, head of the Turkish Cypriot Orthopedic Disabled Association, stressed the importance of raising awareness around disability issues in the Turkish Cypriot community.
He said these kinds of events helped bring about changes which made the lives of the disabled easier.
Akdeniz added that the more outreach and awareness-raising there was, the more projects helping the disabled came to fruition.
An example of such projects is provided by beaches in the north, which now have a transport platform assisting disabled people into and out of the sea.
“There are even water sports for the disabled. We have disabled friends who have gone into acting and have become professional athletes,” added Akdeniz.