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"Dialogue in the Dark" is a permanent exhibition that began at Dialoghaus Hamburg, where it has been on display since 2000, and can now be experienced at various exhibition venues around the world. The idea is that blind people guide groups of visitors through a completely darkened exhibition, which recreates everyday places and situations (such as a park or a bar) with sounds, textures, scents, wind and changing temperatures. Through this experience, sighted people gain a better understanding of how visually impaired and blind people experience the world, on the one hand. On the other hand, visitors become aware of the limits of their own perception in everyday life, which is strongly focused on visual information. In this way, they are sensitized to other senses, which are often neglected in the everyday life of our visual culture.
I have always been fascinated by the fact that when writing audio descriptions for films in collaboration with blind colleagues, blindness has not appeared to me primarily as a deficit, but as a different way of perceiving the world, which, like non-blind perception, has its advantages and disadvantages. It seems to me to be a good approach that an exhibition about blindness also gives its visitors this impression and is thus an example of how exhibitions about the experiences of others can ultimately also convey knowledge about the visitors themselves.
Contribution to the "Who knows?" handbook
"Dialogue in the dark" is an example of how knowledge about others and at the same time about and oneself can be conveyed through experience and a change of perspective. In this exhibition, blind people become the ones who are oriented while sighted people lose their sighted visitors are taken out of their usual perception routines and are invited to a change of perspective. This principle, which is at the core of the exhibition concept, can serve as a model for a wide variety of constellations of cultural projects in which differences between people and groups of people of various backgrounds interacting with each other need to be brought to consciousness.
|Location||Hamburg, Germany (among others)
|Project runtime||2000 -|
|Institution of affiliation||Dialogue Social Enterprise GmbH|
|Sponsor(s)||Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Commonpurpose, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG, Hogan Lovells, Ashoka, Bain & Co.|
Kenny Fries, Sanni Est, Miriam Camara, Rhea Ramjohn
Moderation: Samie Blasingame
Are diversity measures in cultural institutions just another set of methods of solidifying what they claim to change? What are the inconspicuous formal routines, the small informal habits, the official and unofficial rules that create the feeling of running into a wall that one claims is not there?