Blind People’s Spatial Perception
M. Merleau-Ponty (1908–1961) in his work “Phenomenology of perception” raised a concept about the issue of the body.
“The body is the vehicle of being in the world, and having a body is, for a living creature, to be intervolved in a definite environment, to identify oneself with certain projects, and be continually committed to them.” (Merleau-Ponty, 1962, p.82).
He thought that an individual uses the body to interact with this world. “Body is the focal point of living meaning, not the function of a certain number of mutually variable terms.” (Merleau-Ponty, 1962, p.151).
The body becomes the carrier for an individual to search for the meaning of being in the world. Blind people depend on their ‘challenged’ bodies to face this world. In what way do they use the bodies to sense this world? What is the difference between sighted people? The body has various perceptions. What is the way that other perceptions coordinate without sight perception? Those inquiries are what I want to pursuit.
From my working experience, I have the chance to contact blind people. Most of the time I was moved by their fighting spirits and optimistic attitudes. I have a dream. I want to film a documentary or take other art forms to introduce the inner world of blind people. So I spent many years gathering their life stories. Some parts of the interviews are related to blind people’s spatial perception. I will use their life stories as the theme of my one series of writing.