Fresh Paint Art Fair 2020: Smashing Stigmas about the Sexuality of People with Disabilities

The fair is being held this year in a special digital edition

Despite the hardships brought on by the coronavirus, the show must go on! The Fresh Paint Art Fair 2020 is taking place online under the slogan, “Don’t DIS My ABILITY.” It is an initiative of Israel Unlimited– Friending, a strategic partnership of the Joint, the government of Israel, the Ruderman Family Foundation, and the Ted Arison Family Foundation. The exhibition brings together people with disabilities and students from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in a creative process called “Artivism,” a combination of art and activism which aims to shatter stigmas surrounding the sexuality of people with disabilities.

At the fair, you can meet, among others, Avi Ban, 38, from Holon.

“I’m an epileptic, which is essentially an unseen disability. On the one hand, it opens up new worlds but it also boxes you in like keeping a secret,” explains Avi. “For a long time I felt that the disability was an obstacle preventing me from achieving my ambitions, especially in relationships.

“I went through difficult times when I felt the connection was broken because my partner could not handle my epileptic fits. That all changed when I got to the point in life where the penny dropped: Not only do I have a disability, the disability also has me.

“That was the point when I succeeded not only in containing my disability, but also in seeing it as an ability. Since then, I’m in a much stronger place. I accept who I am and believe everyone can be at peace with themselves. Today, epilepsy is not something that limits me; on the contrary, it’s a special empowerment that contributes to every relationship and to creating intimacy with a partner.”

The project is part of a challenge taken on by the Joint to promote a change in attitudes towards people with disabilities and to create a sense of belonging within society.

Feel free to visit the exhibition here

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