On Monday, February 25th a group of Students and Faculty members led by Prof. Melinda Harlov visited the Invisible Exhibition in the Millenáris Park in Buda. This was an extraordinary opportunity to experience the world without one of our most important senses – eyesight.
The group met at the top of the Metro stop on Szell Kalman ter and proceeded to the beautiful Millenaris Park afoot, which is located just behind the two-building Mammut shopping center. We were greeted by our visually impaired english speaking host Gergo, who showed us some of the tools specially made for blind people – which were part of the initial, visible part part of the exhibition.
After leaving our personal belongings and electronic devices in lockers, we proceeded to enter the invisible part of the exhibition in which the roles changed – we became blind and ironically relied on a truly blind person to guide us through a set of rooms designed to experience the world through every other sense apart from vision.
The first room was an apartment. We bumped into each other awkwardly while trying to figure out where the furniture was. One by one we discovered the kitchen sink, an oven, the refrigerator, a telephone, a computer etc. On the right side we discovered a bathroom with a shower. Unfortunately there was no water which would have been ideal for pranks
The following room was a bit terrifying. Instead of the dead silent apartment we soon found ourselves on a busy street. With car and bus engine sounds being played from speakers as a distraction, we wandered around to find several traffic lights, bicycles, cars, and stands with fruit and vegetables, and books too.
The next room was a pleasant surprise, a contrast from the noisy street. We entered a calm forest, walked across a pretty high wooden bridge, all while enjoying the sound of flowing water and bird chirps. In my opinion, this room was the most “vivid”, as ironic as it may seem because of the pitch black darkness.
The penultimate room was challenging. Several famous sculptures were placed all around the room, which we could only visualize solely by touching them up and down, and around vigorously. I was frustrated by not being able to tell what each and every sculpture exactly was, even though I thought I had formed a good “image” in my head based on touch. Our tour guide ultimately eliminated the curiosity by revealing them. I successfully guessed the Egyptian Sphinx, Buddha and David, but failed to recognize Snow White and the three dwarfs, even though it was my third visit to the exhibition.
The final room was the bar, where we all relaxed in the cosy couches. Some of us even popped a few beers open! One of our students insisted on paying in coins right at the bar, instead of in the end, just for the sake of the experience
After almost an hour in the darkness we came back to the real world and parted with our lovely host. My personal thoughts about the exhibition are bittersweet – on the one hand I feel pity and compassion for the visually handicapped. But on the
other hand the beauty of our mind is that in the absence of one sense, the others get sharpened. This is what all of us experienced on a small scale, but I can imagine that living every day with such a handicap trains our other senses to an extreme measure. As the senses of handicapped people adapt to the environment, we should adapt too, as it is important to integrate handicapped people into our society and to facilitate their day to day lives.
In conclusion, I would like to thank everybody who came to the exhibition, our College and Prof. Harlov for making it possible to visit my favorite exhibition for a drastically reduced price. Even though there might not be such an opportunity again in the near future, I would still strongly recommend you to visit the exhibition, because the experience is definitely worth the money and time.
For more information about the Invisible Exhibition visit