Definition: 1) the condition of being unable to see 2) the fact of not being conscious of something or of refusing to notice something that is obvious to others. Source:

Ways of seeing blindness

Blindness is a complex word to illustrate and this is reflected in its Google image search.

The medical condition is shown either through close shots of eyes and retinas or through head shots portraits.  But the ‘whole’ person, the personality and life of blind people is absent.

Only the very formulaic visual cues of the white cane and braille alphabet are offered as a glimpse of what it is to live as a blind person.

The image that appears most is the poster of the 2008 movie Blindness adapted from José Saramago’s 1995 novel of the same name. In his book, the Nobel Prize laureate in Literature tells the story of a highly contagious white blindness disease for which infected patients are put in quarantine. The pandemic threatens to become a huge country drama and supports the author’s metaphoric view that all human beings are inherently blind.

« I think we are blind, blind but seeing, blind people who can see, but do not see » are the final words of Saramago’s novel. And so, interestingly, whilst we are trying to better see blindness, we are offered a magnificent « mise en abime » through the poster of a fictional work.

Captured on 3rd July 2020

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