Jerome Poulalier

(English version only) - A journey to the frontiers of the invisible. What is left when you lose sight, or when the concept of the image and related representations is completely unknown? 

 « You can lose sight, but not your vision » is an accurate reflection made by one of the visually impaired whose story you’ll find in this series. Enough said! Because that is the purpose…to see things differently! Blindness in all senses, and all its states of intrigue, brings up questions again and again! What do we really know of the world of the blind, of the men and women who live every day in the heart of this universe on the border of the invisible? 

Blake, 52 years old, has been blind his whole life.  "I can't tell you what the color blue looks like. To me, it's just a concept. Something that I imagine to be a positive color, a clear one, maybe cold, which makes me think about the sky or the the sea. But even sea or sky, I don't know how they look. To me it's more about feeling rather than looking. "

Be My Eyes is an App that connects blind and visually impaired with sighted helpers from around the world via live video connection. Here, Alvaro is using the App to ask a volunteer to help him identify his $5 bill. Indeed, all bills are the exact same size, so they have no way to differentiate them.

Traveon, 24 years old. « I was 18 years old at the time I lost my sight. My friends and I were sitting on some stairs outside my friends’ apartment close to another group of people who lived next door. All of a sudden, a crowd of people came out of nowhere and a fight started between the two groups. Then they started shooting at everyone that was sitting outside. I guess they thought that everyone there was associated with each other. I had nothing to do with them but I got shot five times - one time in my eyes, three times in the right leg, and one time in the left one.»

Ozzie plays a version of baseball called Beep Baseball, wherein players utilize a large sphere that is constantly emitting a tiny siren. Utilizing the Doppler effect — the phenomenon that occurs when a signal zooms by and its frequency changes — players are able to accurately judge when the ball is thrown and smash it into the outfield.

Jermaine might be blind, but that hasn’t impeded his musical flair. Sitting in front of the piano, Jermaine explains the challenge of «reading» music without sight. «I’d like to see music sheets, because it’s a lot of work playing by ear» he says. «You have to study the board, learn items, memorize them, then play, think about your left hand, right hand, use the baseline... It’s a lot of things to put together.»

Jennifer raises her kids as a single parent. She is albino and has a very low vision.  «My daughters help me when I pick up the wrong ingredient in the fridge, or when someone passes by me they’ll tell me who it is before he arrives. They are very intuitive. I’ve always been a very independent person, so accepting help from somebody was really difficult for me, but when it comes to my children it’s another story.» 

«Trust is a very integral part of our daily lives. We don’t have any choice. We trust that that when we’re crossing the street, the cars don’t run the light and run us over. We get on the bus and ask the driver to let us off on a certain stop, but we trust that the driver is going to remember and let us off at that certain stop. I still use public transportation but I also use Uber a lot. They do all the transactions through the App and I can use my phone to know what the cost is.»

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