On the occasion of October 15th, which is celebrated all over the world as the Day of the Blind and Visually Impaired, the first 3D models of murals for blind and visually impaired people were set up in Belgrade at two locations.
The goal of this project, led by the organization Street Art Belgrade and the Telenor Foundation, is to bring street art closer to blind and visually impaired people through models made using 3D printing technology.
“Street art is considered the freest kind of art because, regardless of its passing character, it is on the streets that belong to everyone. However, not everyone can see and experience it. In this way, we want to bring this contemporary art form closer to blind and visually impaired people and make that dynamic and creative world available to them” Ljiljana Radošević, an art historian from the organisation Street Art Belgrade.
3D models of murals are an innovative approach in the presentation of street art and graffiti because the creation of works of street art in 3D technology enables blind and visually impaired people to get to know the works of art on the streets of Belgrade through touch.
“Any activity that contributes to the blind population having more things they can experience is very important. This is not just an art exhibition, but this approach also shows respect for our population. Within the works of art, there are also descriptions in Braille, which will bring our alphabet closer to citizens who do not have problems with their sight” Nikola Djordjevic, president of the City Organization of the Blind in Belgrade.
The two murals selected for the 3D models are by the artist Weedzor WDR, who has been present on the streets of Belgrade since 2005 and, among other things, is known for his large-scale works.
The models are made for murals (Giraffe painted in 2016 and Wolf painted in 2019) that are recognizable by the cylindrical shapes that form the structure of the heads of animals – a giraffe and a wolf. Along with the 3D models, there is a description of the works in Braille. Guided tours will be organized continuously for all interested citizens and it is planned to place additional 3D murals at several locations in Belgrade.
“Art is an expression of freedom, it unites people, erases borders and obstacles. It plays a great role in creating a more inclusive and tolerant environment. In that way, we are breaking down another barrier and making a step towards a better society” Milica Begenišić, manager of the Telenor Foundation.
There are about 12,000 blind and visually impaired people in Serbia who need support in exercising their rights as well as the integration into all social flows and daily activities. Cultural life and art are an integral and important part of that.
The author of the project is the organization “Street Art Belgrade” whose members have been researching, documenting and popularising street art and graffiti for over two decades. They are dedicated to bringing street art closer to everyone and in the last two years, they have organised the first street art workshops for seniors and first street art exhibition in Virtual Reality.
The project is supported by the Telenor Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and Information and the Austrian Cultural Forum. Partners of the project are Božidarac and the City Organization of the Blind in Belgrade. Voxellab, a 3D technology company, has produced 3D models for the blind and visually impaired.
Photo credit Aleksandar Đorđević / Marko Mihajlović