A journey to discover the people who change our world.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Eyes Wide Blind

Another challenge excited. A blindfolded one. Sound strange? Well, the experience was, but a wonderful one.

Tony Deifell, who I came across though the Omidyar Network, has been involved with Seeing Beyond Sight, a project teaching photography to blind teenagers.
Tony set the challege guidelines; to get more people to experience new ways of seeing. Here's the basics.

Challenge yourself to see the world differently – with more than your eyes.


1. Blindfold yourself.
2. Go out in public and make your way in the world (go one block, one hour or one roll of film; go with a friend or alone)
3. Photograph things you notice. And, just notice.
4. Embrace the whole experience as much as the picture taking.
5. Share your story – for each photograph write a caption about your experience. (write several paragraphs if you want)

If you depend on your eyes to get around, then it is hard not to use them. Although you can tell us about that, focus more on what you noticed about the world as you embarked on this journey. This experience isn’t about blindness – it is about seeing, noticing and paying attention with more than your eyes.

I’m in Thailand at the moment. I found myself at the edge of forest, one waiting to be explored. So I decide to walk it blind.

There I headed, slowly, up the hills. Things start circling in my head. 'Nobody in the world knows where I am at the moment' (I has headed off randomly, in search of some greenery). 'There are three wild tigers remaining in this region'. 'What if I get lost?'.

But I paused. I took some clean Thai air into my lungs and started to sense the greenery around me. Beautiful. The camera started to click as I stated to sense. The world started to come alive in new ways. Touch. Smell. Heat. Sound.

I admit though, I started to get really nervous about ten minutes into the experience, and took off the blindfold. But it was enough time to make me realise more of myself, and challenge myself just enough to know that I want to do it again. Next country, Cambodia. I’ll attempt it there.


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