Arutz Sheva spoke with photographer Rick Guidotti at the 6th International Conference on Disabilities, organized by Beit Issie Shapiro and being held this week in Tel Aviv.
Guidotti, an award-winning former fashion photographer, has spent the past 15 years working internationally with advocacy organizations/NGOs, medical schools, universities and other educational institutions to effect a sea-change in societal attitudes towards individuals living with genetic difference.
Guidotti is the founder and director of Positive Exposure, an organization which “uses the arts to celebrate the beauty and richness of diversity,” he said.
He explained that he uses photography “not just to see beauty on the covers of magazines. Beauty exists everywhere in the world, and I use my lenses to make sure we see beauty in human diversity.”
Guidotti pointed out that he works with people with disabilities so as “not to see the disease and diagnosis, but to see humanity and then beauty in that humanity.”
The photographs he produces create “an opportunity for a kid who has been teased or bullied because of his difference”. By having such a child look at his photograph and telling him, “Look at yourself, you’re magnificent”, he will build his self-esteem “and then he becomes an advocate to change the way the world sees that difference. And not only that individual, but also his family and his community.”
A photo essay featuring Guidotti’s work will be on exhibit at the Ramat Aviv Mall until July 17. Below are two photos from the essay:
Photos: Rick Guidotti