Gabriel Forsythe y Korzeniewicz, Program Manager of UCP’s Life Labs, created this video with his brother, Adrián, and good friend, Jake. It was originally intended as an entry in a video contest being held by a local Down syndrome nonprofit. Adrián has Down syndrome and the contest was meant to demonstrate the unique sibling relationship that often forms between individuals with disabilities and their brothers or sisters. Gabriel decided he wanted to create a professional grade short video about an issue atypical of the usual conversations about these sibling relationships.
“The three of us got in the car one late afternoon and started driving around. I threw out a few options for videos I had come up with, one of which would be showing my brother, two years older than me, how to drive,” said Gabriel. “All three of us agreed on this idea and we got our footage just as the sun was setting and night was settling in. Later that night, we went back home and had a beer while we talked about the video and how people should treat other people with disabilities.”
“I had been inspired to make a video that showed a sort of radical inclusion – one that is actually too egalitarian to be realistic – after reading Walt Whitman’s poem The Answerer. The poem describes a floating spirit or voice that answers for one’s brothers and for the world. This Answerer describes a world of absolute equality. It is a vision that is very moving for me. It would be great if my brother were my absolute equal in society and the practical world, if he could drive a car, if technology were advanced enough that he could operate the vehicle safely – but, he cannot. That night remains the only time he has ever driven.”
“It is a short piece of art, that, to me, depicts a world I would like to live in – a world that more closely resembles how I feel about my brother than our common, shared one often allows us to realize.”
Gabriel is currently working to foster innovation through UCP’s Life Labs. Adhering to the principles of human-centered universal design, Life Labs encourages the advances in technology and design that may one day allow people like Adrián to drive and engage in other activities which allow them to live a “life without limits.”