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Snap! Mencap Photography Exhibition – Liverpool ONE 2-15 Jan 2011

'Shauna Hogan preparing for the race' photo by John Hogan
'Shauna Hogan preparing for the race' photo by John Hogan


A glimpse into the lives of Liverpool residents will be on show next week as the Mencap Snap! Active 2010 photography exhibition arrives in the city.

The free exhibition will be displayed on giant cubes at Thomas Steers Way Liverpool ONE from 2 – 15 January, 2011 and will be launched on 5 January by Liverpool Lord Mayor, Councillor Hazel Williams.


The inspirational collection, curated by learning disability charity Mencap, is a showcase of 22 award-winning photographs taken either by a person with a learning disability or of a person with a learning disability. In line with the 2010 theme ‘being active’, entrants were asked to submit images and films showing what makes them happy, sad, angry, proud or excited about being active.

Fifteen people from Liverpool received an award in the competition and various images will be on display in the exhibition including one by Merseyside resident John Hogan of his 18-year-old daughter Shauna which won gold in the ‘sporting hero’ category (see image above).

John said: “The image is of Shauna getting ready to compete in the Downs Syndrome International Swimming Organisation’s European Championships earlier this year.”

“I think it captures her determination and concentration as she contemplates the challenge ahead. As her proud dad I wanted to celebrate this event. I also think it promotes a really positive image of a young person who has a learning disability engaged in a sporting activity and competing at a fairly high level.

“When Shauna was younger, one of her teachers refused to believe she could ever learn to swim. This photograph I hope will help to change those kind of attitudes towards young people who have a learning disability as it demonstrates what is possible and what can be achieved.”

Sarah Jones, chief executive of local group Mencap Liverpool, said: “It is fantastic to see that so many people from Liverpool entered the annual competition to support Mencap, and even better that so many were recognised with an award. It is also great that Mencap is supporting our local members by bringing the collection to the city.

“Every year the images in Snap! offer a window into the world of the photographer and his or her experience of a learning disability. The ‘active’ theme has clearly fuelled people’s enthusiasm and creativity, and resulted in some really exceptional images. I encourage everyone to come down and see this inspirational collection while they’re doing their sales shopping.”

The winners of the annual Snap! film and photography competition were selected by a distinguished panel of judges in September 2010 from a total of 433 entries by hopefuls across the UK and internationally.

The ‘being active’ theme was chosen to celebrate the fact that people with a learning disability will now be able to compete in the 2012 Paralympics, following the overturn of a ban that was brought into effect in November 2009.

The winning photographs have travelled the country and so far have visited Bedford, Newcastle and Portsmouth and will stay in Liverpool for two weeks before finishing the tour in Birmingham. Last year’s winning images and films were seen by over 9 million people.

Snap! is sponsored by FUJIFILM UK Ltd and the Sorrell Foundation, and supported by Proud Camden.