Bridging the gap between visually impaired and sighted

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Rohan Thapa is a Nepalese photographer currently based in Spain. On 12th August 2015 Wednesday in the Nepal Art council, he showed a presentation about his journey as a photographer and this project he is working on since 3 years, photographing the visually impaired in Nepal.

Most of the times he was in Spain for his education and then his journey as a photographer began. When his professor tore the photographs he showed and stapled it and again tore it, Mr Thapa was further motivated to work harder on his photography and to refine his skills. Now, he is working on his project called “In visible” show casing visually impaired people in an eccentric and creative manner. He began photographing people who just had optical surgeries in Tilganga hospital. He expressed about his fears when he started photographing them as to whether they will get offended or will he even get the permission to click them.

In the art gallery, 72 photos were displayed, all of visually impaired people who had just undergone surgery. As a viewer, at first, his pictures looked bizarre because all of them were blur and something was written on top of them; but not until Mr Thapa told us the story behind these pictures. When he clicked his first few photographs they didn’t come out well, they were blurred. He came up with a brilliant idea through his mistake; he realized that this must be how these people see us and the rest of the world! So why not leave it this way. He went even further to breach this gap between visually impaired and sighted people by printing braille on top of the pictures itself; his idea was to make the picture just not something which can only be seen but something which can be felt.

The words printed in the pictures are words used in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights printed in Braille. In Visible breaks the usual barrier of galleries and museums because visitors are invited to touch the pictures and feel the Braille characters.  For a brief moment the sighted visitors see as a visually disabled person sees…

Position: Communication focal point

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