We needed an interesting way to take these messages to the people while focusing on the children's abilities rather than their disabilities. More important was that we needed a platform that could continue forever rather than creating a one-off event theme.
Children with special needs find it difficult to communicate like the way we do. The children with special needs at the Al Manzil had expressed themselves through beautiful works of art. Through each painting, the child was trying to say something in order to reach out to the world. What these children needed was an audience to know how they think, feel, and then respond back.
How the final design was conceived
Children with special needs live in a world that is muted to the one we live in. To bridge this gap, we came up with ‘Conversations’ - an exhibition that became them a platform for them to establish a dialogue with the world outside while giving the world an opportunity to peep into theirs through their paintings. Conversations came to life at the venue through a special device next to each painting. People could listen to what each artist had to say and then record their own comment on the same device, thus completing the Conversation.
Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
The event garnered interest not just in art circles but also across the media, driving organizations to come forward in support. In the end, all the paintings were sold out, raising over 200,000 dirhams. Conversations has now become a permanent platform that will continue to showcase the artistic talent of these children in the future. But the real reward went to the children who were made to listen to the priceless words of encouragement, making them feel exceptional rather than an exception.