April 23, 2014

Dialogue In The Dark

Ever wonder how it would feel living without one of your five senses? Living with just the ability to hear, smell, touch, and feel without the capacity of seeing what’s around you. What would your reaction be, having your sight being away by nature from your everyday life?

“Dialogue in the Dark”, an exhibition at the South Street Seaport in the same facility as Bodies The Exhibition, is an experience in which you are blinded from the world and you cannot see anything but pitch darkness. Explorers will discover how it feels to be blind as you walk through a simulated version of New York City. You go through Central Park encountering the aroma of flowers and hotdog stands. You continue by shopping for your necessities at an A&P Supermarket, crossing the street through traffic, and most importantly riding the subway. The only things that accompany and guide you is your tour guide, your four senses, your blind stick, and the family you create with other people during the experience.

As the tour progressed, I began to help other members in and we soon became a family together. We made sure that all of us were at each stopping point. We yelled for each and held hands as we made our way through the streets of NYC. We didn’t leave anyone behind. I was afraid to play a part of this exhibition at first because I came there alone, but as the minutes went by, I felt bonded with these people that I have never met before in my life.

As the tour was coming to an end, Angelo Quinones, our tour guide, sat with us at a round table. Quinones then began to describe the purpose of this exhibition. He stated that “this field trip had the purpose of people gaining a realization of how to appreciate life more deeply as we live through it every day. The exhibition is going to be widespread. So many people would learn how the blind interact and dialogue through pure darkness. Exhibitions in Argentina, Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan, Israel, and China have been open so far but the main objective is to have it open even further across the globe so people could gain an experience from this tour.”

When a tourist asked, “were you always intending to work in New York exhibitions?” Quinones responded “I wasn’t expected to work in New York. I always wanted to work in the exhibition that’s located in Atlanta because the museum has a boat instead of a subway and people tend to sometimes get wet.”

He describes his life of being blind in this way, “it was not easy, but as the days get by, the darkness becomes friendlier since you are not part of that loneliness anymore.” As he finished with saying a “goodbye” and receiving a round of applause for the valuable educational mission that everyone had accomplished, he wished that “everyone would pay a visit and experience this tour as memories would emerge from them, along with excitement.”

Throughout the exhibition, it taught me how to be really appreciative of what I have, including to respect the people who are blind without the ability to see nature and the world that revolves around them as we see it. It also taught me a way to communicate in a different attitude, a process that I have never experienced doing in my life. This sensitivity was hidden inside of me but was discovered during a long period of darkness. The only way you could discover your ability is if you visit the exhibit, as it will engulf you with its unforgettable message. The Exhibition is located by the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, and J trains at the Fulton Street Station. It cost less than $25 dollars to enter and it is worth every penny.