Yernar Sarseyev – first visit

Yernar is a lawyer, and works with the parents of children who attend the centre, as well as giving legal advice in a more general way. The first time we met I explained the rationale behind my project, and he was the first to ask what my interest was in disabled people. I explained that first of all I abhor injustice, that secondly I enjoy challenging stereotypes, and that thirdly I enjoy meeting people and getting to know their stories – under the skin as it were. He has a keen sense of humour, so we very quickly got on, and I was delighted to learn that he plays poker on the side (something his wife is not too keen on!). Yernar has CP, and is quite physically challenged; nevertheless, he has a growing family! He has a wife and children, which is more than I do. Although he told me that his wife Adepa was probably not going to agree to being photographed, once I met her and explained what I wanted to achieve, she agreed. Hopefully I can get at least one family portrait. I’d also like to ask her about the stereotypes she encounters as the spouse of a disabled person. In Kazakhstan. She’s a very strong person, both physically and emotionally, but I’m not sure how much she’ll open up to me. However, this would be very insightful material, and not just for a local audience. “An abled woman married to a wheelchair-bound man?” that’s why I’d love to hear her opinions and experiences; it would make for some really great material.

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