Challenging the existing notion of photography being an art form that can only be practiced by those who can see, an exhibition organised on the eve of ‘International Day of Persons with Disabilities’ at the British Council here attempted to establish that blind people can in fact indulge in the "sight intensive exercise," and perform as good as anyone else.
Organised by the NGO ‘Sightsavers’ in association with Beyond Sight Foundation, the exhibition held as part of "The Blind View Campaign" showcased about 30 photographs clicked by visually impaired photographers of other blind individuals engaged in several activities.
The festival breaks the myth that photography is the territory of the sighted people.
"I personally call this literally an eye opening event for all of us. Six months back when we were talking about this campaign, we said what is that we want to challenge.
Photography is probably a very natural extension of sight and this is what we wanted to challenge," R N Mohanty, CEO, Sightsavers, said.
The Blindview Campaign which had started in Mumbai about six months back, brought together several visually challenged individuals at a photography workshop where they were trained to use the camera and click pictures.
The learning process is a two-way street and in this case, Mohanty feels, while the blind were learning how to photograph, their teachers got familiar with that component of the art form where one could click pictures by using their audible, tactile and olfactory senses.
"We got people who are living with blindness as part of the training programme they were trained in the art of using a camera and using the other senses such as the sense of hearing and smell to gauge their visions and to capture them though a camera," he said.