The China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe designated UNESCO Artist for Peace

31-07-2007 9:50 pm The China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe received the title of UNESCO Artist for Peace from Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura during a ceremony that took place on 31 July 2007 in Beijing, China. The designation as UNESCO Artist for Peace came in recognition of their commitment to overcoming disability through music and the performing arts. In presenting the diploma to the lead dancer, Ms Tai Lihua, the Director-General paid tribute to the Troupe’s international achievements saying it had “become a symbol of the hopes and dreams of disabled people world wide”. He noted that the Troupe would provide particular support to UNESCO’s activities in the field of Inclusion and Quality Learning Enhancement, helping to raise awareness of the obstacles faced by disabled persons in the area of education and to promote effective policies to deal with them. “We cannot achieve the Education for All Goals or the MDGs without taking into account the special needs of the estimated 650 million persons – 10% of the world’s population – with disabilities”, he stated.  

Founded in 1987, the Chinese troupe is composed of performers with sight, hearing, mental and motor disabilities or speech impairments. The troupe is a symbol of the hopes and dreams of disabled people and has toured all over China and in about 40 countries on all five continents.  

On 7 and 8 June 2007 the China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe performed their music and dance show “My Dream” at UNESCO Headquarters. The performance was supported by UNESCO and APAJH (L'association pour adultes et jeunes handicapés). “My Dream” is unique and dazzling both visually and musically. The story unfolds though a character who has several bodies. A hearing impaired dancer moves to the rhythm of the music. A young paraplegic man delivers a song accompanied by choreographed gestures. The hearing impaired and mute performers show off their mimicry, while those who are visually impaired speak their words for them.  

In 2004, the China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe participated in the closing ceremonies of the Paralympic Games in Athens, and is currently preparing for the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. The troupe has also been appointed “Ambassador for persons with disabilities” by the World Assembly of Disabled Peoples´ International (DPI).  

In their capacity as UNESCO Artist for Peace the China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe will give their support to UNESCO’s activities in the field of inclusion and quality learning enhancement and in the promotion of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities.  

 

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