Multitasking is not my thing. Like, I can’t work while watching a movie or a series on the side like some people do, or I can do both but it will take a longer time for me to finish my work…and not understand anything I’ve “watched”. That being said, I’ve never really considered watching an entire movie with my eyes closed. You know, without the sense of sight.
If you clicked on this article, you’ve probably never thought of the idea too, and instead wondered why would want anyone to do that in the first place. You probably think that a movie is meant to be enjoyed with your full attention–with all of your senses–and I couldn’t agree more. There are even 3D and 4D movies available that let you immerse into the entire thing! The sad thing though is that some people actually can’t.
I realized this when I entered “The Blackout Zone” at SM Southmall. The immersive exhibit by SM Cares aims to promote blind awareness by letting us experience the daily challenges of visually impaired individuals. Aside from watching a movie, we were challenged to tie a shoe, prepare a sandwich, make our own coffee, and navigate through the activity area with blindfolds on and in total darkness!
What clearly stuck with me was the short film we watched with blindfolds on. Apparently, SM holds special screenings for blind and deaf individuals from time to time. Similar to what we “saw” in the exhibit, these movies are a lot different than what we are able to see!
There, we saw the animated film “Pip” in a different way. Each scenario was carefully narrated for the audience to visualize even without actually seeing it with our eyes. For some reason though, what I had in mind was a black-and-white 2D cartoon, something like “Steamboat Willie”! But, they showed the movie to us one more time without the blindfolds; and of course, it was far from what I had imagined.
#TheBlackoutChallenge may sound like a social media trend that would quickly go viral but it’s not just that. It’s truly unfortunate that this is the daily lives of the blind. According to SM, the goal of the exhibit is for more people to be compassionate towards the blind, and that’s what it did to me. This short but meaningful experience has become a personal reminder to always be kind. Not just to the blind and other persons with disabilities; but also to everyone in general because we all live in different circumstances.
Preparing my own coffee used to be a very simple task that I do first thing in the morning. Now, I remember the life lessons I learned from The Blackout Zone every single time.
The Blackout Zone was launched last October 6 and is open to the public until October 16 at the third level of SM Southmall for free. To pre-register your slot, visit bit.ly/TheBlackoutZone!
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