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Monday, 19 October 2009

Feeling, Knowing, beyond what we See....

Sometimes people cannot see beyond what they see before them. Yes, I know, the obvious thing you may think is, well obviously not! If you have a tree in front of you, you see a tree. Simple as that. What I mean, however, is that some people's reality is very black and white. Imagination is out of the question. Lately I have been struck by those who are caught up in the materialistic world, that at times can engulf our incredible ability to see beyond the tips of our nose.

The texture, taste, and feel of what we experience on a daily basis is one that we, who have all of our senses in tact, at times fail to appreciate fully.

A while ago a friend of mine helped film, edit and direct a documentary about a group of blind people in Mexico City, who were part of project run by the Institution for the Blind in Mexico City. The project's main goal was to challenge the idea that blind people should be excluded from the visual arts, an opinion shared not only by sighted people, but also the blind. The question was, can those who cannot see, take a picture? Could people without visual perception capture a moment, and truly appreciate what would make a beautiful photograph?

The people participating in the project described how for them, a picture was capturing an image that felt beautiful. Their other senses, heightened by the lack of their ability to see, such as hearing, touch and smell, allowed them to imagine, feel, what shot would interpret how they saw, in their minds eye, the world in that moment, and capture it.

This project was successful in challenging how those who see, as well as those who don't, assume that blind people are unable to visually appreciate their surroundings. Importantly this project also served as a form of rehabilitation, encouraging the blind to be more secure of themselves, less afraid to walk in the streets, and manage to get around on their own. It also opened up dialogue between blind and seeing friends, shedding light on how ironically, it is often those that can see that are blinded by an incorrect preconception that visual perception relies solely on our eyes.

Watch the short. Perhaps we should all try and appreciate what is around us more fully, more honestly, and be more aware of our surroundings, appreciating the gestures by kind friends or even strangers, the love from those close to us, and really see beyond the tip of your nose...beyond what is in front of us...

Here is the link to the short. Enjoy!



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