A little while ago I took some images of the agitos – the Paralympic symbol – being raised into position outside Cardiff’s city hall. I subsequently entered it into the ‘Democracy in action’ competition, organised by the Welsh government.The aim of the competition was:
‘To get people to see that politics is about issues that matter to individuals, their families and their communities, and to illustrate that by working with their elected representatives, people can address those issues and get the cogs of democracy to work in their favour’.
So why enter this photo?
Paralympic sport has, pretty much since its inception, been obscured by the long shadow of the Olympics. The Paralympics enjoyed little coverage, far lower support and much less financial aid. Through a combination of incredible hard work and lobbying by athletes, organisers, friends, families and supporters, the Paralympics has finally been elevated to centre stage. The 2012 Olympics proved to be a watershed for Paralympic sport and is now where it deserves to be; high-profile and recognised for the fantastic achievements of the athletes. This could not have come with those most democratic of principles; equal participation and freedom.
I watched the symbols being elevated into position and waited for the sun to penetrate ominous clouds and shine through the agitos, alternately taking images on two different cameras. With the construction workers leaning over their gantry, to me it represented the potential construction of a bright future for paralympic sport. Who could have predicted the reality only a month later? The Paralympics will never be the same again.
So it was very flattering to receive an invite to the Senedd (the seat of Welsh government) on the 3rd of October for the awards ceremony. The photo is up against stiff opposition and frankly, it’s just nice to be asked to attend.
To see the shortlist click here. There are two awards, one judged by a panel and a public vote for the people’s award. If you feel tempted to vote – go for it. The images are excellent and the choice varied. Details of how to vote for images in the people’s award are here.
All images in the competition are currently on display at the Senedd.