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Audio-slide show production titled Blind Soccer is my latest team production. Photographers who are blind and visually impaired from the Ojos Que Sienten organization took pictures and interviewed soccer players who like them, cannot see. These photographers and soccer players show us all there´s more than one way to see and live. Their heightened senses of touch, sound and smell situate them and they are not concerned with winning or loosing. Sight in Motion, audio slide-show production with a story about sports and athleticism, photographed and recorded by twelve blind and visually impaired photographers.    The photographers, who are participating in programs run by the Sight of Emotion organization, took pictures of people playing sports in their neighborhoods as well as Paralympic athletes.    In the interview, Laura Ramos, a blind student graduating soon with a university degree in journalism who plans to be a sports journalist, explains how blind and visually impaired people experience and perceive sports, compared to a seeing person. The interview was recorded by Gerardo Ramirez, one of the participating photographers. Audio-slide show featuring pictures by Raul Lopez Esquivel, a blind man who learned to take pictures at a Sight of Emotion workshop that offers photography workshops for the blind and visually impaired.  Lopez, who was born blind, photographed Paseo a Ciegas (Riding Blind), an initiative that takes people with special needs on bike rides using tandems along the main avenues of Mexico City every Sunday. I helped with the audio and production. Audio slide-show production with a story photographed and recorded by four blind and visually impaired photographers showcasing the sounds of Mexico City's streets related to trades that are slowly but surely disappearing. The project was proposed by Gerardo Ramirez, who worked with his fellow students from the Sight of Emotion organization, Edgar Angeles, Jose Sebastian Munoz and Miguel Fabian. I edited the audio and photos and produced the audio-slide show. 
I'm sharing Organ Grinder, another audio-slide show with pictures taken by Jose Sebastian Munoz, one of the visually impaired students who attended a photography workshop for the blind that I helped teach at the organization Sight of Emotion. Jose has 40% of his vision. I helped with the audio and production.  In this project Jose Sebastian shows us his portraits of his fellow childhood schoolmate who works as an organ grinder in the Zocalo, the main square of Mexico City. "The Fighter" is an audio-slide show featuring images by Alberto Loranca, the student of a photography workshop for the blind and visually impaired at the Sight of Emotion organization where I recently lead a class. I interviewed Loranca for the audio and produced the final product. We met when I was working on my own audio-slide show about the photography school for the blind.  Alberto Loranca was born blind. In his photo essay, he uses a toy wrestler and a flash light to illustrate his reflexions on life, in particular the struggles people face to succeed. I discovered his pictures while organizing the association's photo archive of students's photography, and I asked him what he wanted to communicate. I liked the concept and his message, as it is simple and wise. This audio-slide show is different from others I've produced, as his voice is the only audio and his images are in black and white. My Eyes is an audio-slide show featuring pictures taken by Jose Antonio Dominguez, a student from the photography workshop for the blind and visually impaired organized by Sight of Emotion organization, where I had the pleasure of teaching photography this summer.  I helped him develop his idea for the photo essay, he went out and took the pictures and I recorded the audio and produced it.  In this project Jose Antonio introduces us to his guide-dog Bonnie, tells us what it's like for him to take pictures in Mexico City and shows us the people who help him along his way through D.F. I'm sharing my latest audio-slide show: The Sight Within. To do this story I've followed a photography workshop for the blind and visually impaired, run by Sight of Emotion, or Ojos que Sienten, in Mexico City. Seeing blind people take better and more cre

 

 

 

 

 

I've produced several photo stories made by blind and visually impaired photographers from Sight of Emotion, a foundation that gives photography workshops to the blind.  When I first spoke to students at a workshop, I told them there are two kind of photographers. The first kind likes looking at his/her pictures and say "Oh, I'm a really good photographer!" The second kind is interested in communicating something valuable.

This kind of photography is available to everyone, including the blind. They can't see their pictures but they are satisfied when their message reaches others. Sounds, smells and touch create mental images that communicate an idea or an emotion that all humans can recognize.  I've had photography students who could see perfectly but couldn't "see" stories or express a message through their work.

Since I began publishing stories by blind photographers, the most prevalent feedback I've gotten is doubt that they took the pictures by themselves. It made me realize how we unconsciously discriminate against the blind.
Remember that us "seeing" photographers crop and tone our photographs, and sometimes have them edited by others. We even get help with access to what we're photographing.  But we assume that the blind must do it all by themselves!  No editing, no photoshoping, no producing, no help with access, nothing. 

It's clear to me now why the world is so difficult for people with special needs. Fortunately, the blind photographers I've worked with make good pictures with interesting messages, showing that there are no barriers for those who aspire to move beyond mental barriers.
It's been health for me to truly understand what it means for sight not to be the only way to perceive the world and that looking at pictures isn't the only reason to take them. Photography by the blind is a great tool for them to be seen instead of ignored. 

Photography student Maritza González once told me during an interview:
"In reality everything is in the mind. If you notice, this chair where I'm seated, somebody one day thought:  'The school desk will be like this, and created it.' It's the same thing when, apparently we don't have sight, everything is in our thoughts and when our mind knows what it wants to photograph, to see, to make people see, it just has to be in our mind. Everything is in my mind and my mind is marvelous. I saw it before the photo was even taken. I saw it. Click. And there's the photo."

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