Paige: Reflections from Emma Gee

Board Member Emma Gee reflects on Mind the Gap’s Paige photobook, which documents the real life experiences of parents with learning disabilities.

A programme for the Mind the Gap show Paige

There’s a very good reason I didn’t read my copy of Paige for a fortnight after I received it: I knew it would make me cry.  I suspect I also feared it would make me angry, very, very angry, but I don’t think I admitted that to myself! Either way, the book sat on the bedside shelf for two whole weeks.

I read it this morning. I cried. I was incandescent at times, but I was also smiling and laughing. I did not expect that!

I should out myself; I’m utterly biased about Mind the Gap. I worked for five and a half years full time with the Company, I’m on its Board and I had the incredible privilege of being a freelancer on the reworking of Anna, the Forum Theatre piece that forms part of The Daughter’s of Fortune trilogy, with a truly inspiring company of co-developers. The basis of the piece is founded on the lived-experience of many who so selflessly shared their stories in Paige. One of the team, both performer and resident researcher, was the amazing Daniel Foulds. As the Outreach Director, back in the day, I worked with the fabulous Pippa, whose story features in the book. I am invested in this work. The Company is family.

Paige opens up the potential for dialogue about what ‘family’ means and its vital place in the individual lives of us all. What these stories share is a generosity of openness to enable us to understand the incredible complexity of families, at a time in history where that concept is being re thought and re framed daily. Now is the time to consider that this extends to ALL.

As I smiled through tears at the beautiful accounts of triumph against all the odds. I could feel the love they held as people sought to have family, in some cases improve the experience of their own childhoods. The positivity these accounts expound is palpable and incredible. There is clarity of understanding and intent here that has to be heard. It must be heard. In Paige there is hope that this experience cannot be unheard, unseen and ignored.

To each and everyone of you that had a hand in its making, I thank you.

Find out more about the Paige photobook here…

Back to All Posts