Dialogue in the Dark is a recurring social experience that not only asks sighted participants to walk in the shoes of a blind person, but also asks the sight-impaired to share in the experience themselves.
Founded by former journalist Andreas Heinecke, the exhibit consists of a series of pitch-black galleries in which visitors experience their surroundings through visionless stimuli. Scent, sound, texture, wind and temperature inform the senses of different daily activities. A blind or partially sighted person guides the temporarily blinded visitors through the exhibit orienting them to their surroundings and providing a unique sense of security in the darkened environment. The forced dependence on a blind or partially sighted person as one explores the museum is meant to provide a profound appreciation for the strengths of someone who is typically erroneously perceived as disabled.
Following the tour is a conversation between the guide and the vision-restored visitors about the experience. Visitors are encouraged to ask any and all questions in light of the insight gained from the walk. Since its founding in 1988, Dialogue in the Dark has premiered in 150 cities, giving over seven million visitors the unique opportunity to experience the senses of another person. There are currently a number of venues housing the exhibit across the world allowing people to turn out the lights and light up their minds.