Glowing rectangles of cell-phones, laptops, TVs and other electronic gadgetry are an integral part of our lives. People are spending more time than ever with these visual devices. In a culture as vision-centric as ours, it is often difficult to comprehend a life without sight. But there’s more than meets the eye and our collective psyche needs a precision surgery for a change of perspective.
The Blind View, an initiative by Sightsavers, intends to be that precision surgery.
“Though I’ve lost my sight, I haven’t lost my vision.”
People with visual impairment employ other senses in creating their visions. What if sighted people could ‘see’ what blind people ‘see’?
Photography is an extension of sight. The sighted see photography merely as a way to freeze moments and scenes, ready to access and share freely later on. What if they appreciated that there is more to sight than merely seeing? What if they experience moments, textures, and smells through photographs? What if they realise that there is a different kind of photography that they are completely unaware of – a different kind of photography that is championed by the blind?
The Blind View aims to captivate and surprise people with a high impact event and communications to raise awareness about the abilities of people living with blindness. Blind people may have failing eyesight, but that is often compensated by a keener awareness with other senses. The Blind View project brings these realities to the fore and confronts the dominant narrative of disability.
Sightsavers, in partnership with Beyond Sight Foundation – a photography initiative for people living with sight loss – will conduct two photography workshops with people with visual impairment in Mumbai (June) and Bangalore (September). The photos created in these workshops will be presented shortly thereafter in public exhibitions in the two cities as well as in online virtual galleries – all culminating in a final gala event in Delhi. Backed with strong online and offline promotional activities, public voting for the best photos and a series of sensitisation exercises, the campaign will raise awareness about Sightsavers and the importance of social inclusion of people with visual impairment.
Our campaign website www.theblindview.in is now live.