Biography: Born and raised in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, Shelley Barry completed graduate studies in English and Drama at the University of Cape Town and University of the Western Cape. She has worked extensively as a disability rights activist, following a shooting in the Cape taxi wars of 1996 that resulted in her being a wheelchair user. She worked as the Media Manager in the Office on the Status of Disabled Persons in the Presidency in South Africa. She initially worked in disability politics in South Africa’s Parliament as the National Parliamentary Policy Coordinator for Disabled People South Africa, during the Presidency of Nelson Mandela.
In the area of visual media, she has worked in television as a program compliance advisor for South Africa’s first independent television station, ETV, where she was instrumental in raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and disability through championing certain programming. She completed short training in video, including a short course by acclaimed director Mira Nair and training by Deutsche Welle TV. She was based as an intern for a brief period with the BBC’s Disability Production Unit in London. She was appointed as a Chief Examiner of the South African Film and Publications Board. Shelley also served on the board of Mediaworks, a community media organization and on the board of Children and Broadcasting Foundation for Africa. She is also an office bearer of an organization in South Africa: Art for Development, run by South Africa’s first black female feature filmmaker, Meganthrie Pillay. Shelley is an active anti-gun lobbyist and recently addressed the United Nations in NYC.
Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Whole: A Trinity of Being (2007);
Selected Experimental Shorts (2010).
Str/oll (Date unknown);
Umbilical Cord (Date unknown);
Retrato/Portrait (Date unknown);
New York/New Brighton (Date unknown);
Cry like the Loons (Date unknown);
Where Are My Heels? (Date unknown);
Canvas (Date unknown);
Cellphone (Date unknown);
Whole: A Trinity of Being (2004);
Where We Planted Trees (2011);
The Traveling Poet (2011 – Shelley Barry, Delia Meyer).