How the arts can help change attitudes to blindness

When non-blind people think of blindness, they tend to think of a tragic, life-limiting condition that reduces people’s interactions with and appreciation of the world. But for me, as for many blind or partially blind people, blindness is not a tragedy; it’s simply a different way of being in the world. Sure, it can be inconvenient at times, but it’s certainly not a fate worse than death. I organised the Blind Creations conference to dispel this blindness-as-tragedy myth by celebrating blindness’s artistic potential and destabilising sight’s position at the top of the hierarchy of the senses. Attended by 116 delegates from around the world in June – around half of whom were blind – this conference and micro-arts festival was a forum where blind and non-blind people shared inventive ways of experiencing the world, from tactile books and photographs to haptic art.

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