Invisible for the eyes…
Based on your experiences how the visitors respond to the Exhibition?
I believe that those who come to the Exhibition have already a kind of openness and curiosity towards the lives of visually impaired people and eager to ease their everyday lives in one way. Although the Exhibition is open since 6 years, luckily there’re more and more visitors, which in itself is already a positive feedback for us. Since this is an exhibition, where visitors go on a tour in the darkness for an hour with the help of a visually impaired guide, we can tell a lot from how they react after the tour: usually they twinkle from the sudden light, however they’re happy. They come out as a group, even though they were strangers in the beginning of the tour. On top of that we receive many positive letters, e-mails and guestbook entries, which mean a lot even for our visually impaired colleagues.
Which features of the Invisible Exhibition are the most popular?
In the visible part of the Exhibition there’s a labyrinth, which provides an opportunity for the visitors to try out walking with a white cane while blindfolded. Usually we bring this equipment to different events, where like in the Exhibition it is really popular among children and adults as well. We get a lot of positive feedback about the Invisible Dinner too. This differs from the Invisible Exhibition in one phase – it ends in a restaurant, where visually impaired waiters, musicians, delicious food, drinks and good atmosphere wait for the participants. The only difference between this experience and having a dinner in a “common” restaurant is that visitors don’t see the other people, the installation. They just hear the music, feel the scents and the great atmosphere. Lastly, I have to mention the Invisible Wine Tasting and the Invisible Massage, which are as well very popular.
Since the visitors are accompanied by visually impaired guides, what kind of feedback do you receive from them?
Luckily I can say that everyone, who works in the operation of the Exhibition – visually impaired and as well those who see – is part of a strong and convergent community. This means that everyone, who works here believe in what he/she does and they feel the value of their work. Without this the Invisible Exhibition wouldn’t work. Besides of course the basic of the operation of the Exhibition is that it accommodates to the view and experiences of visually impaired people, since the Exhibition is about them.
What were your goals when you created this initiative and did you manage to reach them?
I think the aim is obvious: facilitate the inclusion of visually impaired people into the society. This can only work if the help is real help for them. Most of the people have the supporting attitude, though usually they don’t know how to handle visually impaired people, how to start a conversation with them or how exactly they should provide help for them. The goal of the Exhibition is to overcome these barriers in order visitors can experience how the everyday life of visually impaired people is.
What would you say for those who didn’t see the Invisible Exhibition yet to make them get an insight into this world?
I believe that besides learning a lot of useful and surprising things about the lives of visually impaired people, at the same time the program provides a sometimes amazing, sometimes funny and sometimes shocking experience. It’s a leisure activity, which is as well a long-term experience and gives people crucial values. The most important argument though is that “Everyone should ‘see’ this!”
What are your plans for the future? Do you plan to develop the Invisible Exhibition or to make some changes?
Of course we always work on renewing the Exhibition in order to show something new for those too, who already saw it. The Invisible Dinner, Massage, Wine Tasting, Team building, which we provide for companies and the Invisible Exhibition for advanced serve the mentioned aim. We would like to make the Exhibition visible for those too who are far away: in 2007 we opened an exhibition in Prague and Warsaw and we plan to open other exhibitions in Europe and overseas as well in the future.