• Sarah Caltieri

My name is Sarah

Updated: Mar 24, 2021

(Chronicle #27)

Face of Dove, 2006

Documentary style online advert filmed in my then home in Leeds when I was starting out. Fun and also surreal sharing my bedroom and bathroom with a film crew. (Although never credited for my work, I assisted with the direction and writing).

The advert won a 2007 Silver Award in the British Television Advertising Awards for Toiletries. (Personally, I think it must have been my Leeds ‘do I look fit’ (that means hot to the rest of the world) line that did it. I was really disappointed however, that I wasn’t named for my contribution, simply labelled ‘blind girl.’ I do have a question: what would the world think if this was labelled ‘black girl?’ I don't say this lightly as I am from a multi-cultured background. My best friend growing up was mixed race, as is one of my closest friends now. Friends through my life always of every shape, size, background, colour, sexuality, as well as my dates and relationships. I used to be in a relationship many years ago with an English born and bred half Bangladeshi, Cambridge educated Arts Reporter (the first ever ‘brown’ as he used to say to obtain this position on his newspaper), presenter of his own radio show, playwright and screenwriter whom has experienced extreme racism within his own country despite his hard work and contribution. It has unfortunately come to light over the years that people with ’diffrabilities’ or whom are ‘differentlyable’ (which is how I identify myself) go through similar challenging experiences.

Just being identified with the label 'blind person' everywhere within society (on the street when I'm out and people whisper under their voices 'she's blind' thinking I can't hear them, being questioned constantly about it by complete strangers, reading acting scripts with parts for 'blind people' which are not empowering or a true inclusive representation of 'real people' with physical eye 'diffrabilities' and much more...) has made me feel like an object and dehumanised as if I am a separate entity to everybody else and the 'human' race. So much so ,that I've suffered with bouts of depression because I felt so alienated at times and separate from the world. Blindness and partial sightedness is an extremely complex condition and every single person has a unique situation and different eye con