“One Dimension” Festival Takes Place in Ust-Kamenogorsk

“I knew that my mother was looking at me, remembering everything she had to go through. I am very grateful to my family. They have done so much for me and now they are proud of me.”

Irina Tolkacheva


Irina, as well as many other participants of “One Dimension” festival, discovered new abilities while presenting the miniature “Irishka’s story: birth, development, love, and self-realization.” The diagnosis of cerebral spastic infantile paralysis did not become an obstacle for 30-year-old woman to prove that people with disabilities deserve to be a part of the society without prejudges and stereotypes.

“One Dimension” festival took place for the first time in Ust-Kamenogorsk on 27 April. It aimed to form the opinion that the society should be complete and united. In the population’s mind, there should not be any divisions on people with and without disabilities.

The main idea of the festival was to create the projects together. People with and without disabilities worked on the creative projects in groups.

During the preparation to the festival and rehearsals, more than 40 people became friends, 20 of whom were disabled. Such kind of events is one more step towards the integration of disable people into society. People with disabilities should abandon the social and psychological reservation.

“It is not for the first time, when I with my wife take part in the concerts, but this one is the most friendly,” shares his impression Alexander Shramko, a blind poet, composer and musician. The atmosphere at the festival was very nice and warm.

For many participants it was the first time they presented. Nargilya Nasibova, a mother of 17-year-old Faik Nasibov with autism syndrome, remembers the son’s performance.

“I saw him like this for the first time. He did everything on his own, everything, which I usually tell him to do. He greeted the people, expressed the gratitude, when he was called to be awarded. He went up to the stage by himself, bowed and got the applause. It is the beginning of the socialization,” Nasibova says.

In total there were 20 creative projects presented, among which were songs, dancing performances, poems, musical instrument plays, miniatures and even a video project.

“People with disabilities should not live in the isolation or belong only to disabled community, like it used to be. Our motto is ‘The world is all the people!’ If we don’t know disabled people, we see only a part of the world,” say the representatives of “Bliss” psychological center.

The festival didn’t demonstrate the disabilities, but the abilities and opportunities. The participant expressed their talents and love to life through the performance.

“No doubts, the festival raised the spirit. The concert hall was full of people, everyone applauded. There were a lot of youth,” says Tynybek Baitokov, the deputy of the director of ARGO, who attended the festival.

The festival is a part of “Empowerment Now!” national informational campaign, which is being implemented in all Kazakhstani regions by the Association of Civil Society Development “ARGO” together with the partners (NGO “Namys,” NGO “Shyrak,” and NGO “ASRIV”), with the financial support of USAID/CAR. “Bliss” psychological center is implementing the project in Ust-Kamenogorsk. The informational campaign pursues the active integration policy and does not focuses on broader issues rather than just the problems of disabled.