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Art Student Mya Wins Ealing Mencap Poster Competition

West London College is hugely proud to announce that Mya Bowern-Gohagon, who is studying our Introduction to IT, Art and Media Entry Level 3 programme, has won the Ealing Mencap Disability History Month 2023 poster competition. Mya’s win took place during UK Disability History Month (16 November to 16 December 2023), which this year centred on the experience of disabled children and young people throughout history, as well as addressing their needs for the future.

Jodie from Menca, Gia, Emma-Marie, Emma, Sahar, Mya, Adrian from Mencap, Teacher Joitun Haque, Roland and Jai
Jodie from Mencap, Gia, Emma-Marie, Emma, Sahar, Mya, Adrian from Mencap, Teacher Joitun Haque, Roland and Jai

UK Disability History Month says: “The way disabled children and young people have been and are treated is an indicator of how inclusive and rights respecting we are as a community and society.

“Impairment is a natural part of human existence, but societal responses have varied across cultures and time. Disabled people including children have often been falsely blamed and scapegoated for society’s ills. If one grows up on the receiving end of negativity, then one often internalises that negativity.”

Ealing Mencap’s poster competition judges commended Mya’s work for its artistic and creative representation of disability.

In their critique of her work, the judges said: “Mya’s outstanding contribution not only snagged the top spot but also beautifully commemorates Disability History Month. Ealing Mencap’s judges felt that Mya’s poster artistically and creatively focused on ‘representation’. We cannot help but be drawn into the vibrant colours, each hue echoing the varied experiences within the disability community. Their poster is not just a work of art but a reminder that, as a society, we are at our strongest when we embrace and celebrate our diversity.”

Mya's winning poster

Mya, describing her thoughts on the competition, said: “I saw the competition and thought that as a person with my own disabilities I’d like to have a try at coming up with a poster design which covered some of the main problems disabled people have to face on a daily basis. I was very surprised and happy when I heard that I’d won.”

Mya’s poster portrays male and female heads in dark colours in contrast to the brightly coloured symbols, depicting a range of disabilities. For example, Mya chose to use a hearing aid, which her little brother wears, to illustrate deafness and the challenges in communicating that can bring.

Recognising that some people are born with disabilities and others become disabled during their lives, Mya created the motto ‘Turn Crisis Into Hope’, signalling the need for a societal change in improving life chances for people with disabilities.

Awards are stacking up for Mya; in November, she won the West London College Inclusive and Foundation Learning award at our annual Student Awards. Mya says her proudest achievements are: “the confidence I’ve gained at WLC and the artwork I have created.”

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