The exhibition aims at highlighting the world of the visually challenged, but there will be no posters, seminars, or documentaries. In fact, all that the visitors will experience is complete darkness. But the impact will be profound, say those involved with Dialogue in the Dark, a global social enterprise.
A blind guide will take the visitors through specially designed dark rooms at the exhibition. Though disconcerting at first, the visitors slowly experience, in complete darkness, everyday activities such as walking through a market, a park, and ordering coffee at a restaurant, says senior consultant and core team member with DiD, Meena Vaidyanathan.
In India, only Hyderabad has a permanent centre where the exhibition is hosted daily.
This year, Thiruvananthapuram will get to see a sample of what this world-wide organisation has been doing over the past 25 years. The initiative formed in Frankfurt, Germany, by a social worker Andreas Heinicks, initially focussed on the uplift of the visually challenged.
Of late, it has been branching out to cover the differently abled segment.
They are organising their annual meeting in the country for the first time at the Kanthari International Centre at Vellayani here from October 23 to 30. Over 50 trainers and personnel who are associated with DiD from different countries will participate.
“We have a social franchisee model whereby we link up with local start-ups and groups, transfer the technology and know-how of setting up such exhibition centres and help formulate a roadmap which will take into consideration the socio-cultural environment there,” says Ms. Vaidyanathan. Representatives from their centres in places such as China, Germany, Thailand, and Malaysia will lead the sessions.
Those who cannot come will communicate via video-conferencing. Personality development classes will be organised as part of the programme.
On October 30, an interactive session will be held with the press where those who have benefitted from the DiD’s work will speak of their experience.