For this purpose, this year Dialogue in the Dark Monterrey created an especial one-weekend program for those visitors who wanted to go beyond the exhibition tour and continue the Dialogue.
The program consisted of 3 workshops and one concert in the dark designed and executed by the blind staff of DiD Monterrey.
The 3 workshops were targeted for the general public. Those workshops were conducted in the light by DiD blind guides. The topics were connected with the DiD tour – a continuation of the Dialogue.
The 45-minutes workshops were titled: “the senses and mobility without eyesight,” “empathy in action” and “braille and accessible technology.” Visual presentations were created and used for the sighted participants. Also other sensorial and interactive elements were used as aromas, recorded sounds, videos, braille tools, smarth phones and more.
The series of 3 workshops were presented for free during 2 days at the museum and most of the attendees were children and families.
The leading experience of the program was the concert in the dark. This event was a blend of live music played by some of the blind guides of DiD complemented by testimonial motivational short talks by blind speakers.
The concert in the dark was hosted at the IMAX cinema of the Planetario Alfa. 390 persons attended and 4 blind guides took part as musicians and singers, 2 blind persons participated as speakers and 3 more blind guides were in charge of the production and safety of the public.
Four contents blocks shaped the concert. Each block opened with a 2-minutes motivational talk, introduction of the blind musicians and 2 songs.
The first block was called “what is darkness for you?” and the reflection was focused on how in order to survive darkness it is needed to learn seeing differently. The second block was called “life is change” a testimonial of parents expecting a baby who was born premature and lost eyesight as result so the only certainty in life is uncertainty.
Block 3 is a short tale by Mullah Nasrudin that you can read here and titled “more light” illustrating how we – sometimes – prefer to navigate in the comfort zone even though we know the best of life lies in challenges. The last block was a resilience recipe to face difficult moments called “keep it up, learn and conquest.” And the musical part ended powerfully with a blind opera singer who is part of the guides team.
The combination between a dark platform to listen and feel, the live music played by blind musicians and the testimonial short talks by blind speakers created a very touching and emotional environment which got a lot of positive feedback from visitors and lots of people who did not manage to find a seat in the event.
The spirit of this especial program was, from one side, to encourage the blind guides to perform out of their habitual roles in the dark and show their skills as facilitators in the light or as musician playing live. From the other side, to offer a new set of experiences to the DiD exhibition visitors. And on top of all, to celebrate the day of the persons with disability by displaying the talents and skills of those typically labelled as disabled!