‘Life is for living’

2010-08-09 00:00

SHELLEY Barry may be a wheelchair user, but she has overcome her impediments and is now a film-maker, poet and manages Two­spinningwheels Productions, a company that provides a platform to those who have the least access to film-making.

Barry was shot in the Cape Town taxi wars in 1996, which resulted in her becoming a wheelchair user. With the love and support of her family and friends, coupled with Barry’s own positive attitude, she was able to cope with her disability.

Having always dreamt about being a film-maker, Barry was the recipient of a full scholarship from the Ford Foundation to study film overseas in 2002. She graduated cum laude in her Masters of fine arts in film from Temple University in Philadelphia and has since made several short films, with Whole — A Trinity of Being being the only one released. The experimental documentary traces Barry’s journey of embracing life again after the taxi shootings and has won three Best Film awards at international festivals in New York City, San Francisco and Philadelphia. It has also been awarded the Jury Citation Award at the Black Maria Film Festival in the United States.

This Women’s Day, Barry will be participating in the Artscape Women’s Festival in Cape Town and, later in the month, will be screening films at Wits University in Johannesburg.

Hardest challenge in coping with your disability?

Sometimes people can hurt you, but anyone who hurts you is really only in pain themselves.

Drives you to success?

Knowing that it is possible to fulfil your dreams and knowing that after I have reached my goals I will be able to help others reach theirs.

Lessons from life?

Being a victim achieves nothing. Life is for living.

Life Motto?

I love, therefore I am.

Three things that make you you?

I love to love. I love to dance. I love to create.

Morning routine?

I pray and give thanks. I make a cup of tea and stare at the mountain. Then I play music and dance, have a bath and start working in my office.

Greatest achievement?

To be able to love well.

Greatest inspiration?

My mother and grandmothers.

Three things that you cannot live without?

My family, my friends and nature.

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