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Nos, Why Not?

Suited in depth The two main problems of people with intellectual disabilities are the empowerment of the individuals and their visibility in the society. Photography is great to fight for them, because they are the authors and protagonists; and society can see the results in their photos or watching them work. If we add to this the use of social networks, in a spirit of collaboration and sharing, it also provides great strength. All this affects their self-esteem and increase their quality of life. The changes that these people have undergone, thanks to photography, are very beneficial. Other benefits obtained by our photographers are the realization of a creative activity, the introduction in the world of culture, implementation of projects promoting entrepreneurship.

Nos, Why Not? has shown that people with intellectual disabilities can be professional-quality photographers that are passionate about their training and activity, and that exercise gives them the great benefits mentioned above. Our vision is to create an international network of photographers with intellectual disabilities, collaborate, conduct reports and other photographic works, achieving social and labor inclusion. To achieve this we collaborate in a network platform, which is a meeting place for photographers with disabilities and society, where inspiration is found to build partnerships to create real value for society.

The project involves more than 100 people, including three blind people. They are distributed in several cities in Spain. We travelled to Nord-Odal (Norway), to present our project and help to create a group of photographers with intellectual disabilities, Moro Photo, with which we collaborate. We also have important contacts with other countries, with which we started our international expansion.

Suited in depth The activities of the project focus on highlighting the performance of individual or group reports, corporate portraits, own products as guides for people with intellectual disabilities, photography workshops in children's schools and universities, performances, exhibitions like the one held throughout Spain in collaboration with FNAC, etc. To realize this project, we collaborate with 12 volunteers, mostly professional photographers.

The project has created the first agency of photographers with intellectual disabilities in the world. From "Nos, Why Not?", we have studied the methods of blind photographers, and have devised a method to "feel" colors.

Rosa was born blind and has never seen colors. This method relates the sensations we feel when we see a color, with the sensations we feel when we hear some music. There is a study by Professor Stephen E. Palmer, from the University of Berkeley, which relates colors with music. Assign a basic color to a song, for example white is "Imagine" by John Lennon, red is AC/DC...
Thus Rosa has begun to "discover" the world. Now she chooses a serious day dresses of "Imagine" and go to a party dresses "AC/DCc". Thanks to photography she also thinks of the shadows on the landscape, and now she knows that water from puddles reflects the sky.

Since 2011, the project has managed to expand to different cities of Spain. It collaborates with associations of people with intellectual disabilities in A Coruna, in several cities in Galicia, Madrid, Sabadell, Terrassa and Barcelona. We have now started our international expansion, beginning to collaborate with other countries.

Suited in depth One of the main features of "Nos, Why Not?" is accompanying disabled photographers for an indefinite period, we can say that this implies continuous training.

A partner organisation of the project, the Aral Center Sabadell, is responsible for counseling, psychological assessment and intervention, educational, speech and psychiatric therapy for children and young people with intellectual disabilities. This organization highlights the importance of youth work: "Photography focused on young people is great because they acquire a wonderful hobby, absorb more art, and many of the benefits offered by photography, for example using the analysis solving situations, working social relationships, expand their social circle... these are very useful benefits for labor inclusion”.

Beneficiaries of the project:
People with intellectual disabilities, among which some are also visual impaired

Project promoter:
"Nos, Why Not?"; An agency of photographers with intellectual disabilities, created by Felipe Alonso, photojournalist.

La Coruna

More information:
Twitter: @noswhynot

What people say

“My reasons for founding "Nos, Why Not?" ? We can find them reflected in a 1776 text of "The United States Declaration of Independence"; it reads "that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and pursuit of happiness "

“Why not bet for more creativity? 2 years ago when we had not yet started the project, none of them imagined that they would come to a photographic reportage, and there they are. Bet on them is more than just make one month making photocopies, or repetitive work. People with intellectual disabilities can surprise us, we foster creativity”.

Felipe Alonso, creator of the agency of photographers
with intellectual disabilities "Nos, Why Not?"