Images captured by blind and partially sighted photographers have been welcomed as a revelation by the head of famed photographic agency Magnum Photos.

[Image credit: Aaron Ramos]

The images are published in a new book called The Blind Photographer, in collaboration with Ojos Que Sienten, an organisation that runs ‘sensorial photography’ workshops for the visually impaired.

‘By focusing on other personal tools at their disposal beyond the sense of light, such as smell or hear [ing]; by making them conscious of their capacities and individual abilities, they are able to discover, interpret, build, imagine and so much more,’ says the Mexican-based body on its website.

‘We are able to create spaces where visual communication acquires a whole different dimension.’

Magnum president Martin Parr said of the 150-photo book: ‘A revelation… they capture a feeling about the world and their relationship to it through photography which is often elegant and compelling as sighted photographers.

‘It is not only a great surprise but very life assuring.’

Blind music legend Stevie Wonder said: ‘The best thing to do with stereotypes and preconceptions is to challenge them, and this book… does just that.

‘It breaks down barriers from both sides, and shows what can be achieved if you turn your back on the doubters and just follow your dreams.

‘Visions are not seen purely by the eyes, but through the spirit.’

The photographers – who hail from countries including Mexico, India, China and the UK – have written testimonies accompanying their photos that give a ‘unique insight into the visualisation of the sight-impaired’, according to the book’s publisher Redstone Press.

Applauding the ‘huge social and therapeutic impact’ of such projects, the publisher added: ‘It’s important to note that the book is not about the blind, but it will provoke the sighted to imagine more fully the human condition of those who are visually impaired.’

The Blind Photographer, edited by Julian Rothenstein and Mel Gooding,  costs £29.95 and is due out on 8 September.

A book launch and talk will take place on 8 September at The Photographers’ Gallery in London, where work from the book will be on display.

For details of the book visit www.theredstoneshop.com/products/the-blind-photographer.

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