BrandArena: Canon Partners With RNIB to Launch 'World Unseen' Photography Exhibition

Thursday 7 March 2024

Canon Partners With RNIB to Launch 'World Unseen' Photography Exhibition

...Show to be held in London from April 5-7

Canon Europe has announced 'World Unseen', a photography exhibition that encourages visitors - blind, partially sighted, and sighted - to experience photography in a new, accessible, and engaging way. The show will be exhibited at Somerset House in London from April 5-7, in collaboration with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

There are at least 2.2 billion people worldwide who have some type of vision impairment, making photography mainly inaccessible. The show, designed with blind and partially sighted persons in mind, will include a collection of pictures made by world-renowned photographers. These are accompanied by elevated prints, audio descriptions, soundscapes and braille for a tactile experience that helps visitors connect with these powerful images and the stories they tell.

Sighted people will also have a greater understanding of the partially sighted experience. Each image will be hidden differently to represent various types of visual impairment, ranging from glaucoma to diabetic retinopathy. While this raises awareness of accessibility in arts and cultural places, it also highlights how inclusive design improves experiences for everybody.

The exhibition will feature works from world-renowned photographers and Canon ambassadors from around the world, including multi-award-winning South African photojournalist Brent Stirton, renowned Brazilian photojournalist SebastiĆ£o Salgado, Nigerian photojournalist Yagazie Emezi, sports photographer Samo Vidic, fashion photographer Heidi Rondak, and Pulitzer-winning photojournalist Muhammed Muheisen. 

An accompanying video series will feature partially sighted individuals, including British disability activist, Lucy Edwards, and Menna Fitzpatrick MBE, Britain’s most decorated Winter Paralympian, who have collaborated with Canon to tell their stories and show their reaction to experiencing this photography for the first time.

“Photography is an incredibly powerful medium that can push the imagination and we want this experience to be accessible to everyone. This exhibition was created with blind and partially sighted people in mind to share imagery and the stories behind them in an entirely new way. With Canon’s elevated print technology, we hope all visitors will feel a deeper connection to the emotions and stories that imaging can bring to life,” says Pete Morris, Brand and Sponsorship Senior Manager, Canon EMEA.

Dave Williams, Inclusive Design Ambassador at RNIB, said: “The World Unseen exhibition opens up the world of photography and enables more blind and partially sighted people to experience the emotive stories, and physical touch, of these iconic images. As a braille user, it’s fantastic to be working with Canon to raise awareness of the possibilities of textured print and to see in action how technology can make art more accessible for people with sight loss.”

This isn’t the first time that Canon has brought the arts to life through elevated print. Through its proprietary PRISMAelevate XL software and Arizona printer series, Canon has been making arts more accessible for blind and partially sighted people for many years, supporting art galleries and museums globally with tactile printing and braille signage. Most recently at an experimental photo exhibition in Vienna and one in the Netherlands.  

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