Monday, August 04, 2008

Curiosity & The Blind Photographe

I just stumbled across this essay, a blind flaneur » Curiosity & The Blind Photographer, on "accessibility in terms of culture and cultural production." A worthwhile read with some magnificent photos. What do you think? What is the link between accessibility and curiosity? Is access no longer a one-way street?

Amartya Sen paved new roads in economic thought when he changed the idea of poverty being absolute to being relative. To translate, Sen simply pointed out that what would have being accounted wealthy a thousand years ago would be accounted poverty today. Sen pushed a participatory (i.e. relative) concept of poverty. Someone is poor if they cannot fully participate in the economy (too poor for a phone, transport or sufficient nutrition for health, e.g.).

I can see clearly a parallel here to accessibility being defined as the ability to participate in society (or culture). Food for thought...


Mark Willis said...

Thanks so much for connecting to this talk, Tim. I welcome the addition of your links to my piece and the ideas it explores. When I put the talk together at the spur of the moment last year, I couldn’t find the blind photographers on Flickr. There is a long, digressive story to tell about what you find on Flickr when you search on “blind” but I won’t try to tell it here. I first found my way to the group through our mutual colleague lodrorigdzin. He found me via my blog and the subject of blind photographers. We are a small community with a truly global reach!

I hope to get involved with the group as I get a better handle on how Flickr works from the inside. I am less a blind photographer than a photo editor, something I’ve done in one capacity or another throughout 35 years in the media business. That career coincides with sweeping changes in the processes and tools of photography, publishing, and the phenomenology of my own eyesight. I’m still looking for the tools you ask about, and I expect to learn much from you and the community of blind photographers.

When I gave the talk at MIT, I made peace with PowerPoint. PPt had always been a barrier that I resisted and protested. Curiosity led me into learning how to use it for my own photo editing purposes. I’m following a similar process now with tagged PDF. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m trying to make peace with PDF now, too. Curiosity and creativity are the motives that bring me to the table.

Let’s stay in touch.

Daria said...

Hello! My name is Dasha and I have Stargardt Disease as well. I just want to thank you for this blog — you can't imagine how happy I was when I found it.