I just read a fascinating article on a new project which is running in Lisbon and possibly set to explode around the glode. Cabrecega is a creative agency in Lisbon who develops innovative experiences for a variety of clients. The latest of these is a guided walk through Alfama lead by a blind guide. Walkers are securely blindfolded then lead through the ancient streets. The guide not only talks them through the history of the area but also gives them a sensory experience of it. The walker is given an experience of Lisbon and of blindness simultaneously.
I think this is an amazing project. As a sighted person I cannot imagine what it is like to live in a world without sight. Yet one of the aims of this walk is to show us that in the absence of sight, the world can be fully experienced in a new way. My memories of Lisbon include sound, scent, touch and taste as well as vision – the smell of sardines, the sound of fado and the trams, running my fingers along the azulejos, the taste of pasteis (Mmmmm…). To walk through Alfama blindfold would be an extraordinary experience.
The project lists one of their goals as
“…to bring awareness to the universe of the visually impaired, not as a limitation but instead in a positive and stimulating note in which the blind himself invite us to step into his own world of codes and references.”
The first walks in July were fully booked but they are opening their doors again in September. They cost 20 euros and this is given in full to ACAPO – an association for the visually impaired.
For further details about this amazing, inspiring project, contact the organisers through their website.