Frankfurt has gained an unusual museum in December 2005: DialogMuseum.
It is unusual because the exhibition focuses on human social topics.
It is unusual because the ambassadors of the museum are blind and visually impaired people. It is unusual because it combines social responsibility with economic trade.
The idea of this enterprise follows the principle that humans learn through encounter. It follows the experience that platforms for the encounter, where we could learn from each other respectfully, are missing. DialogMuseum wants to create this platform and at the same time wants to create workspaces for disabled and disadvantaged people. DialogMuseum wants to encourage dialogues between people with and without disabilities. It wants to surprise, touch, have a lasting effect in a relaxed and playful way. The creation of DialogMuseum is tightly connected to the history and the development of the exhibition “Dialogue in the Dark”.
“Dialogue in the Dark“ is based on a simple idea which was developed by Prof. Dr. Andreas Heinecke within the context of his occupation for ‘Stiftung Blindenanstalt’ in 1988. An exhibition in complete darkness is displayed as a parc, a city, or a bar with the help of sounds, scents, textures, and authentic props. In short: daily situations without any visual components.
The consequence: Completely neglected perceptions are rejuvenated, the senses are strenghtened, and the visitor’s fantasy is stimulated while being led through the dark universe. A change of perspectives happens: In the darkness, blind people become experts and meet the visitors on equal terms. The visitors become disabled and have to trust a completely strange person. In this world beyond the beautiful appearance, age, skin color, background, and gender are not of importance anymore. Only the person who speaks exists. Whoever remains silent loses his contour in the dark. A dialogue is set in motion and an exchange is encouraged. Very soon, the initial fear and pity change into respect. This change of perspective works worldwide and the experience has a lasting impact: Disabled people are perceived differently and valued without prejudice. The potential counts instead of the deficit. “Dialogue in the Dark” is a location of social learning, a contribution for more respect and tolerance dealing with minorities. Today, “Dialogue in the Dark” is an internationally successful concept. DialogMuseum in Frankfurt goes one step further with the exhibition “Dialogue in the Dark” and pioneers- both conceptually and institutionally. It is a private social enterprise which has the goal to give disabled people a chance. Therefore, it is an integration enterprise. DialogMuseum wants to prove that the idea is worth the effort, also fnancially.