Organisation: Dialogue in the Dark
In order to overcome barriers between “us” and “them” and begin to reverse deeply held prejudice and pity for the disabled, Andreas Heinecke has developed strategies that engage and enlighten individuals through action rather than words. His platform “Dialogue in the Dark” empowers the blind and does not inspire pity, but, instead, enables interaction and builds respect, understanding, and even wond er by redefining “disability” as “ability” and “otherness” as “likeness”.
Visitors begin by being immersed in total darkness and are guided around by a blind person. They are guided through different rooms and (artificial) environments, such as a forest, a boat trip on the sea, a city centre, a vegetable stand, a sound room, ending in a bar where visitors can order a drink or something to eat. They go in small groups with one blind guide (although people are not always aware until later that the guide is blind). The guide leads, but the group is large enough that visitors must also rely on each other, in order to not lose track of where the group is going.