‘Dialog in the Dark’ A Lesson of Life Where Dark Becomes Visible
An experience, a way of life to discover the invisible that surrounds us, and learn about New York in another way through a tour that has a ring of challenge and mystery. Dialog in the Dark is a special exhibit that represents the opportunity to re-discover the city as a blind person does. After watching a video about how to use the white cane, visitors enter a pitch-black room so dark that they cannot even see their hands in front of their eyes.
Visitors swing a cane in their hand to “see” the ground in front of them. In a small or big group, they follow the voice of Stephanie Foxworth, a blind guide. They are lead through a series of rooms simulating different New York City environments. Sounds, scents, and temperature are the only way they can experience the city in the absence of sight. Their journey begins in Central Park, where people can hear birds tweeting as they cross a bridge in the park. They go through Times Square, and onto the subway with all the sounds, the voices they would hear as if were in a real subway car.
“Don’t be afraid, just follow my voice. We are going to take the subway now,” said Foxworth, while underscoring that for a blind person the subway is a safe place because there are a lot of signals for blind people.
Foxworth, who was born and raised in New York, was shot in the face when she was 17 years old during a robbery. After undergoing different surgeries, she became blind. Her dream was to fly a MiG figher jet like in “Top Gun.” Nonetheless, she is married with two children. “When people arrive at the end of the tour, they usually tell me that this was an amazing experience that broke the mystery.”
According to Foxworth, a lot of visitors are very scared. At the beginning of the tour, once the light starts disappearing little by little, they start crying. Nothing can happen because all the participants are under surveillance during the tour and are monitored by closed-circuit infrared cameras.
“People think we are different, but we are like everybody.” Foxworth said. “We are self-sufficient, and we can raise children without help.” This experience helps people to understand the blind world, but in particular to understand that those people can still enjoy life as everybody else. So it is a way to learn how to have more solidarity, and more respect for those who live in a different world. A world where the dark, that usually scares people, can also be an instrument of communication.
“Dialog in the Dark” was founded 22 years ago by Andreas Heinecke and has been presented in more than 31 countries and 127 cities throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.
“Dialog in the Dark” is open every day of the week. Visit dialognyc.com for more information. #