Hey guys, here we are with another great interview!
As I promised in my previous article, the posts that will come up in these days will all be about the amazing cast of the ‘FOCUS GROUP’: the short movie that VirgoImage produced in collaboration with Lachi and Liz Galalis for the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge 2021.
Today I’m going to introduce you to the beautiful Kellina Powell.
For our short film we wanted to represent several types of disability and deafness. was of course one of them. Being in contact with stylish Kellina, also, helped us understand the main challenges a deaf person faces during, for example, a Zoom meeting with no captions nor sign language interpreter.
So… waive and shake your hands up for Kellina and this powerful interview!
WHO IS KELLINA?
Kellina is a young entrepreneur who loves to help people with their personal growth and educate others about the deaf community. Little do people know, Kellina is actually hard of hearing. She became deaf at the age of 4. She just graduated with a psychology degree and now is into starting her own online coaching business. She is also working on finishing her book!
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO PARTICIPATE IN THE EASTERSEALS DISABILITY FILM CHALLENGE WITH US?
The reason why I wanted to participate in the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge is to give awareness about the deaf community. As a deaf person I never meet anyone in the fashion industry who is deaf and black. I want to allow those who are deaf and black to feel free in their skin in the fashion industry.
The photo shows Kellina registering for the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. She is posing standing and smiling. she is wearing a white heeled boot, black trousers and a white crossover halterneck top.
DOES THE CHARACTER YOU PLAYED REPRESENT YOU? IF YES, WHY?
Yes, I love the character I played! It explains exactly how I experience technology in today’s world. There is still too much lack of support as far as inclusive technology is concerned.
IN RECENT YEARS WE HAVE SEEN A BETTER REPRESENTATION OF SOCIETY IN TERMS OF GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND ETHNICITY BOTH ON SMALL AND BIG SCREENS. DO YOU THINK THE SAME CAN BE SAID ABOUT THE REPRESENTATION OF DISABILITIES?
Yes, I do. We, disabled advocates, don’t and can’t give up. It takes time and patience.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFICULTIES IN DEALING WITH A FASHION INDUSTRY THAT OFTEN FORGETS THAT WE ARE NOT ALL THE SAME?
First of all: environmental degradation. Someone who has a disability will know if the environment is not for them: mental health does come, with someone who has disabilities. It is important to be in a safe and positive environment.
Secondly: health and safety risks. Models nowadays have a strict diet to maintain their body shape: it is unhealthy, especially for someone who has a disability and already has gone through so much, with their mental health.
TO ALL THOSE WHO LIVE WITH A DISABILITY AND ARE STILL LOOKING FOR THE COURAGE TO GET INVOLVED, TO ALL THOSE WHO LIVE THEIR DISABILITY WITH SHAME, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE?
The photo shows Kellina in the centre of the picture smiling shyly. She is wearing black braids and a white top.
I am a disability person. My advice is to be patient and never make them feel alone. Don’t be afraid to have a conversation with them…especially if they didn’t hear you for the first time!