I found Adilzhan working again – this time he was embroidering a tubeteika. He bought the cloth cap readymade, and embroiders it to sell at a profit.
This time some visitors came to see Adilzhan, Askar and Malika who I’d begun shooting for the project before I decided to focus on people with CP. As is typical among young adults these days, it wasn’t long before mobile phones were unpocketed and they began showing each other photos or video clips…
Since this is a significant aspect of contemporary culture, I think it is important to show such images. We sat down for tea, as usual
And then went out for a trip to the shops, Adilzhan wanted to buy a T-shirt.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have the colour and material combination that Adilzhan was after. I think it is important to show that disabled people are fashion conscious, since a common notion among non-disabled people goes something like: “why should you bother what you wear or what you look like – you’re in a wheelchair!” as if this disqualifies someone from wanting to look good.
I just had a call from Adilzhan who has sunk into depression again. Although we were supposed to be meeting this weekend, he tells me that he doesn’t want to see anyone or do anything. I spent over an hour on the phone with him talking about his issues, which seem to be a complicated mix of being snubbed by a potential girlfriend, not being able to complete his school education and not being able to find a stable income (he told me that he wants to fulfil his mother’s dream of having a profession and living in a place of his own). I have been able to calm him down and try to see things in a rational light, but I’ll give it a rest for a while and hope that he bounces back out of it. Maybe I have enough material, but I really do need to record his voice and opinions!