Carmen Papalia, Vancouver, Canada
Blind Field Shuttle, South Elm Projects, 2015, sightless, individually led and group tours through downtown Greensboro
A non-visual walking tour, Blind Field Shuttle, is an experience in which the artist leads participants on eyes-closed walks through urban and rural spaces. For the project’s Greensboro installation, Papalia designed and led tours of downtown that encouraged participants to particularly reflect on the accessibility of the city and on sensory learning. Participants included Elsewhere staff and Greensboro community members, ranging from city council members and representatives from a variety of municipal departments to downtown residents, business owners, and local non-profit leaders. The intimacy of the walks encouraged trust, connection, and the sharing of personal experiences between neighbors and across cultural affiliations. Each walk culminated in a sensory map making exercise in which participants documented their impressions of the terrain they had passed through and their reflections on the experience.