Founder of Dialogue in the Dark, Dr HEINECKE is committed to dissolving the boundary between ‘us’ and ‘them’. He has been involved with the issue of marginalization ever since he was a teenager. In 1986, while working as a journalist and documentary writer, he had to develop a training programme for a colleague who had lost his eyesight. This inspired him to found ‘Dialogue in the Dark’, which employs blind guide to lead reflective activities. The social enterprise aims to raise public concern for otherness and create job opportunities for disadvantaged people.
‘Dialogue in the Dark’ is a pitch dark exhibition where blind and visually impaired guides take visitors in small groups through scenes of everyday life. For example visitors take a trip to the park, go on a boat ride, visit the market and buy a drink from a visually impaired barman. The tour itself lasts for about one hour but the effects can last a lifetime.
‘Dialogue in the Dark’ is not an exhibition about blindness; rather it is a platform for encounter and the beginning of a dialogue that goes beyond borders, prejudice and stereotypes. It is an eye – opener to raise awareness about eyesight and a unique opportunity to present blind people’s potential, to enhance their self – esteem and to guarantee income and recognition. Through ‘Dialogue in the Dark’ blind people move from an abandoned place on the stage and shift from passive receivers to active contributors. The concept was shown in the last 20 years in 30 countries. More than 6,000 blind people found work and can present their potentials in front of more than 6 million visitors. ‘Dialogue in the Dark’ will be opened in Hong Kong from February 2010 on.
Video, Photo and Text from: MaD