Amanat is currently studying at KIMEP, which is one of the nation’s top universities, delivering most of the subject seminars in English. He is also married with 2 children. Since he is no stranger to being filmed or photographed for documentaries, I found Amanat amenable to my project, not least of all since he’d have some final say over the images used and the content of the interview material – as he pointed out to me, most journalists tend to focus on the fact that he has an able-bodied wife and children, so being given the opportunity to effectively write his own script was something he viewed very positively.
We agreed that we’d focus more on Amanat’s education – as such we’d be shooting on campus at the university, and for that we’d need permission – which was surprisingly easier to get than I had assumed!
Although some of the areas are wheelchair friendly, with ramps and wide doorways, not all of the rooms are accessible and so we enlisted the help of some of the other students when required. I don’t want to show the university campus as being restrictive, and I am also not trying to show that people who use wheelchairs can get by without any help at all (I have looked at Judith Butler’s discussion of interdependency elsewhere).