Accessibility raises political and cultural questions about inclusion and inclusive practices. Museums worldwide now offer multisensory access programs for people with visual impairments, which could appear as an actual implementation of the purpose of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of full inclusion and respect of disabled pleople as part of human diversity. However, by focusing on touch, they often passively exclude people with visual impairments because of their foundation in ocularcentric assumptions about knowledge, misconceptions about visual impairments, and aesthetic and epistemological potential of other 'senses'. Differently, approaches deeply aware of sight, touch and visual impairments specificities are recognized as more inclusive and respectful of human diversity. Based on this knowledge, Anteros museum (Bologna, Italy) translates pictorial artworks into perspective reliefs using Panofsky's tripartite iconological method. This contribution analyzes Anteros' practice in order to participate in the debate on inclusion from the theoretical perspective of visual studies. In particular, it will examine implications and meanings of using iconology and perspective as tools for inclusion. Since iconology is always linked with ideology, this proposal seeks to understand museums inclusive practices as instruments for a mental colonization, which aim to institutionalize ocularnomativity and neutralize the possibility of other 'senses' of the world.

Marinella Tomasello (July 2019).The temple of visual culture and people with visual impairments: museum accessibility as mental colonization.

The temple of visual culture and people with visual impairments: museum accessibility as mental colonization

Marinella Tomasello

Abstract

Accessibility raises political and cultural questions about inclusion and inclusive practices. Museums worldwide now offer multisensory access programs for people with visual impairments, which could appear as an actual implementation of the purpose of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of full inclusion and respect of disabled pleople as part of human diversity. However, by focusing on touch, they often passively exclude people with visual impairments because of their foundation in ocularcentric assumptions about knowledge, misconceptions about visual impairments, and aesthetic and epistemological potential of other 'senses'. Differently, approaches deeply aware of sight, touch and visual impairments specificities are recognized as more inclusive and respectful of human diversity. Based on this knowledge, Anteros museum (Bologna, Italy) translates pictorial artworks into perspective reliefs using Panofsky's tripartite iconological method. This contribution analyzes Anteros' practice in order to participate in the debate on inclusion from the theoretical perspective of visual studies. In particular, it will examine implications and meanings of using iconology and perspective as tools for inclusion. Since iconology is always linked with ideology, this proposal seeks to understand museums inclusive practices as instruments for a mental colonization, which aim to institutionalize ocularnomativity and neutralize the possibility of other 'senses' of the world.
Museum accessibility, blindness, ocularnormativity, mental colonization
Marinella Tomasello (July 2019).The temple of visual culture and people with visual impairments: museum accessibility as mental colonization.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/492195
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