Dialogue in the Dark | Founder and CEO | Frankfurt Alemania
Andreas Heinecke is based in Germany and born of Jewish-Nazi ancestry, he questioned from an early age why do some people marginalize others? Andreas wondered how could one part of my family have killed another part of my family? On what grounds do we judge people and classify them as inferior or superior? These issues, Andreas realised, were not unique to just him, but can be found in cultures all over the world.
In his earlier career as a journalist Andreas had his first encounter with a blind person, who had lost his sight in an accident. At first, he felt pity and had no idea how to cope with the situation. But quickly he realised that being blind implies having qualities that usually are not seen be sighted people. It is here the concept of Dialogue in the Dark was born - Andreas's colleague opened his eyes and encouraged him to think about how we can move beyond differences!
Dialogue in the Dark was created in 1988 and the exhibition is set in complete darkness. In this environment blind individuals lead small groups of guests through a series of ordinary situations that are suddenly experienced extraordinarily, without eyesight. The exhibition can last an hour, several hours, or longer. The mission of Dialogue in the Dark is to facilitate social inclusion of marginalized people on a global basis. Our goal is to raise awareness and create tolerance for Otherness in the general public, thereby overcoming barriers between “us” and “them”. Dialogue creates jobs for disadvantaged people by turning deficits into potentials and thereby strengthen the self-esteem of individuals who are typically under-valued.
This has been expanded to ‘Scenes of Silence’ to bring people into the world of silence and the different skills required to communicate and function in our world.