Lithuanian social project uses fashion to fight against stereotypes about mental disability.
Head of Markuciai day care centre for people with mental disabilities Inga Bagdonaitė-Miknevičienė says that we shouldn’t be sad and feel sorry for her centre’s clients. She says it’s nonsense to feel pity for someone who sees the world in a different light than you do. I do agree, completely. However, after watching a short documentary Antiidealas (Antiideal) about the fashion project involving young Lithuanian designers and Markuciai centre’s clients, I could barely hold my tears.
Is it because we think we are superior and question ‘why? or is it because we feel sorry for ourselves, for not being able to be real? I don’t have the answer as I don’t have experience working or even communicating with people who are mentally challenged (that’s the right term, right?).
That is why the Lithuanian fashion project Antiideal by Irma Bogdanovičiūtė is so important. To the designers involved, to the models from Markuciai centre and to us, watching it. The idea of the project was born in 2015 with the mission to fight stereotypes and help understand the realities of people that are different from us. Six fashion designers Rūta Lendraitytė UTALLA, Vidmina Stasiulytė, Milita Balčaitytė and Elzė Sakalinskaitė (INDIGO TEKSTILE studio), Modesta Kremerytė KREMER and Aleksandra Glušinatė, and eight models Ramūnas Nausėdas, Petras Liutkevičius, Indraja Kalnikaitė, Aliona Zborovskaja, Jolanta Dobralovič, Marius Mikoliūnas, Giedrius Supranavičius, and Oksana Tulko, discovered each other and worked together to create unique clothes. But more than that, they learned a lot about each other and helped us understand, even if just a little.
We would like to invite you to watch the Antiideal documentary which speaks more than the words. Stay tuned for our exclusive interview with the project author and filmmaker Irma Bogdanovičiūtė, more photos and feedback from the designers involved.