An hour of blindness, which opens your eyes
A few months ago, I got two tickets from my brother as a present. Tickets for a special event called Invisible Exhibition. I had no idea what to expect, I just knew that this is some kind of a presentation of visually impaired people.
When we arrived, we had to wait a couple of minutes. So we started to play with games we found around we hadn't known before. They were some small things that are for children to improve their logic, and devices and objects that are used by blind people in their daily life. We also put an eye mask on, and we tried to walk through a small labyrinth with the help of a white cane. This was the first challenge of the day. Then, we started the exhibition with a nice lady who explained us how the Braille system works. We got the chance to write down our names and try to read a couple of words with our fingers.
Walking in the dark
When we got the permission to enter the main part of the exhibition, suddenly, everything turned dark. I was waiting for my eyes to get used to it, in vain... Luckily, we had a guide who always explained us what we should expect. We walked through different rooms which were all furnished differently. The first room “looked” like a house with a living room, kitchen and bathroom. The second one was like a street with cars, bicycles and city noises. Then we walked through a “forest” with bird warbles, then a museum full of statues, and we finally arrived at a bar. We had small challenges like figuring out which statue we had in front of us. Of course, I had no idea that I was touching the small David Statue or a Buddha. It also took me a couple of minutes to find 250 Forints in my wallet to pay for my snacks in the bar. I was simply amazed how our visually impaired guide always knew where I was and that he realized me by my voice and smell. I have to say this tour was an impressing experience.
Unique interactive journey to an invisible world
We got through the whole exhibition by touch, feeling and scents. We had to trust a stranger the way as blind people also trust strangers to help them through their everyday life, e.g. to cross the street. The Exhibition brings the world closer to each other and teaches through positive experience how we can help and understand blind people. The exhibition also offers an Invisible Dinner, an Invisible Wine Tasting and an Invisible Massage in pitch-dark.
Our guide also explained us that most people have the supporting attitude, though usually they don’t know how to handle visually impaired people. He gave us examples how to start a conversation with them or how exactly we can provide efficient help for them.
In the Invisible Exhibition, everything felt like a funny game. Being in the dark, feeling a little bit scared, getting lost in the rooms, learning a new way of reading/writing, feeling the smells and communicate with touches. This was a game for us, but this is the reality of many visually impaired persons. But the kindness, the humor, and the smile of all these people we met in the exhibition made us forget our feelings filled with sorrow and showed, what really matters.