By Catia Malaquias
Once again Coordown Italy, together with the creative talent of Luca Pannese and Luca Lorenzini (now operating their own agency, SMALL) and the support of Down syndrome organisations around the world (including Down Syndrome Australia), have delivered a beautiful and powerful campaign video for 21 March, World Down Syndrome Day.
This year’s campaign, based on this year’s WDSD 2019 theme – “Leave No One Behind” – is called “Reasons to Celebrate” and is a truly international production, featuring actors with Down syndrome from Italy, England, France and Albania. It was produced by SMALL New York in partnership with Mexican agency, FCB, and was filmed in Budapest, Hungary and directed by Hungarian director Rudolph Péter Kiss.
The campaign video begins with the evocative and magical atmosphere of three United Nations-designated days that are celebrated on 21 March – the Day of Poetry, the Day of Forests and the Day of Nowruz, celebrating the arrival of Spring.
The unconditional joy of these Days is then starkly juxtaposed against the societal barriers faced by people with Down syndrome in seeking to unconditionally enjoy their human rights to inclusive education, open employment, community participation, independent living and decision-making autonomy.. The powerful message – “we don’t have so many reasons to celebrate” – is delivered by an Italian protagonist with Down syndrome in a dark, empty theatre, and then elaborated by the other actors that we initially saw celebrating the other Days.
The message of the campaign is a play on the idea of international “celebration days” and the purpose of World Down Syndrome Day, as a day of action to advocate for the human rights of people with Down syndrome.
The clear message to society, delivered by people with Down syndrome without sugar-coating, is that it is more than time to give each and every person with Down syndrome the opportunity to enjoy the same rights as everyone else – only when that happens will people with Down syndrome and other disabilities truly have “Reasons to Celebrate”.
Please enjoy, reflect upon and share this important video and its message.
[Cover photo © Coordown; backstage photos David Induni ]
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