Goal of the event:
The goal is to increase the public’s awareness of and tolerance for “otherness”, thereby overcoming barriers between “us” and “them”. Sighted people enter the darkness and, as they begin to experience how capable they actually are, will find themselves questioning their assumptions and prejudices about what it means to be "normal" and "capable". Placing themselves in the care of a blind person allows people to understand the strengths and potential of those they often assumed to be weaker and less able than themselves. This experience allows the darkness to become a place of unfettered communication and a beneficial exchange.
Short description of the event:
The concept of Dialogue in the Dark is simple: visitors are lead by blind guides in groups through specially constructed dark rooms in which scent, sound, wind, temperature and texture convey the characteristics of daily environments – for example a park, a city, a boat cruise or a bar. The daily routines become a new experience. A reversal of roles is created: people who can see are taken out of their familiar environment. Blind people provide them with security and a sense of orientation by transmitting to them a world without pictures. The tour itself lasts for about one hour but the effects can last a lifetime.
How did your event go?:
We went to different areas, such as a park (with sound effects, birds whistling, dogs barking, etc.), a grocery store, a boat, and a bar/lounge area.We were surprised at how quickly we were able to know exactly where we were just by feeling the objects around us. Our sense of touch was heightened. We wanted to feel everything. We were also more cautious, trying not to hit anyone with my cane.
We learned a lot. We learned that we take our eye sight for granted. We learned how much harder it is for us to follow what is being said and to understand where the sound source is coming from. We are useless when it comes to following the sound of someone's voice if we can't see anything. We also learned how quickly we adapt to our surroundings.