Disability is mostly understood as a deficit of abilities, creativity and possibilities for self-fulfilment. The book “So weit, so nah / So far, so near” breaks with this popular, but superficial view of people with disabilities and presents them instead as creative, self-dependent and hard-working artists.
“So weit, so nah / So far, so near” is the result of the cooperation between the artist Robert F. Hammerstiel, the writer Heinz Janisch and the clients of “St.Pius” in Upper Austria, an organisation of Caritas. Photographs, video and literary works, which were created by handicapped people in different workshops over ten years show their daily life, sorrows and joys in an innovative and artistic way. The aim of these workshops was not only to make the participants familiar with the new technologies so that they won’t feel excluded from the technological development, but to give them the needed confidence and support for the realisation of their own creativity and ideas. The professionalism of the pieces of art will certainly amaze the reader – but the discovery of this simple and pure approach to life will not only help him/her to get to know those artists, but maybe also to find out more about him-/herself.