Ian Treherne – The Blind Photographer Close Up TEDx Talk.

Ian Treherne – The Blind Photographer Close Up TEDx Talk.

January 16, 2020 0 By Peter Engel


hello everyone I heard that your all the
Willy Wonka winners so you’re probably feeling quite smug sitting here well
your friends are working in the office okay
so let’s get the elephant out the room I know what you’re thinking I can feel the
tension don’t feel sorry for me yes I am from from Essex hello welcome my name is
ian Trahan i am profoundly deaf 95% blind and a portrait photographer and an
ambassador for a charity called sense UK in london i am here today as i would
like to change your idea of blind people and eradicate your fear of the white
cane and have a better understanding of what blind means to you we are people
not aliens we come in peace quite cool I was born profoundly deaf though it knows
82 months old and have been wearing hearing aids ever since having lost my
higher frequencies i coat the best I could with the difficulties of isolation
and not hearing very well I went to a normal primary school and a secondary
school and fitted in with the regular kids and had many friends I thought my
hearing loss was the only major issue I would have to contend with as a child
when I was out with my friends as a young teenager riding my bike and
playing in the woods I noticed that I could not see as well as my friends this
led to me visiting an opticians and later a hospital where would be told a
stain that my eyesight is deteriorating with a genetic condition called retina
pigmentosa type 2 us a syndrome quite a mouthful or RP for short
and he’s also known as tunnel vision this is an image of a healthy Eyre what
a fully facility person would see and this is what I see we’ve retina
pigmentosa with 5% vision as you can see it’s quite a dramatic loss of sight the
peripheral vision that I have lost is black and I have a tiny window of around
5% reasonable clear sight in the middle my vision at night time drops down
dramatically down to one to two percent this morning we mainly saw it I have is
my window and how I navigate through life I hid my blindness for many years
because I felt ashamed and embarrassed because of the stigma attached to
disabilities I found when I was growing up I noticed the lack of representation
of disabled people on TV and entertainment usually the characters
were portrayed as weak very incapable or the butt of a joke over the last few
years the internet and the Paralympics have empowered a positive start in image
diversity representation in the media sports and entertainment it has pushed
large corporate brands to start showing different disabilities changes and
ranges of diverse people in the media which is a positive start this is not to
do with vanity just simply demanding our place of acknowledgement and existence
in the world as people we’ve all the diverse albert’s I have seen recently
which I adore awesome blind people are still not being shown why is that I’ll
be that scary scary monsters I didn’t come out using my white came because I
wanted you to meet me first this is my white cane but like a ninja when I do
that I have been a white cane user since January 2018 and it has been one of the
hardest things I’ve had to do in my life over the last year and a half of using
the white cane I discovered many issues and negative every blind person that
chooses use of white cane use it in different ways some people use Guide
Dogs and many choose not to use the white cane but the white came will
always represent the same symbol that they either have a visual impairment or
a visual impairment and hearing loss the white cane is there for you to be aware
and to act accordingly to give them space I thought I’ll share some examples
of how I used the white cane if I mean a busy place say like London I would use
it waving it left-to-right to create some space usually works most of the
time not always in London and I thought about putting a Taser on the end it
might make people think often I use it as a hiking stick and use it as just a
symbol and it’s a lot easier to use as we do have a bowi a lot of dodgy
pavements where we live but it’s a lot easier for me to use and also I use my
white cane when I come out of the gym or a leg day and I use it to put myself up and when I’m wobbling down the stairs
it’s very helpful it’s very useful and a lot of times I don’t use the weight came
because I like to keep working my reside inside this small window sight is a gift
and I will continue to use that site even if the constant judgmental stares
and quizzical looks continue because I’m not conforming to the stereotypical idea
of being blind which we are changing today why some basic useful tips when you see a
blind person in public don’t panic breathe
all you need to do is give them some room that is it nothing more simple you
don’t need to risk your life crossing busy main boughs we are not zombies from
the walking dead don’t be frightened it’s like me on a Friday night also try
a boy jumping over the white cane like a show halls pony also don’t grab and drag
a blind person around like a rag doll because you think we are helpless we do
get stuck but don’t wheel a blind person will often ask for help if she they need
it the biggest misconception and misplaced idea of what blind mean is
that you either see or have zero vision this big confusion is what calls these
the judgmental stares and quizzical looks from sighted people why is that
person with the white cane using a phone why is that person with a guide dog
reading a book if they can’t see why is that blind person using the camera they
must be faking it there are over 500 ID disorders that exist in the world only a
few have a cure my condition RP as a syndrome does not have a cure and these
are early stages of trolls and experiments we have a long way to go yet
often when I tell people there is no cure they find this very difficult –
it’s set and offer tips such as have I try glasses
I get out a lot I try it no it doesn’t work so what does Blind mean line means
partial loss severe loss and total loss I say that again blind means partial
loss severe loss and total loss as I mentioned the most common stereotypical
idea blindness is that people think blind means having zero vision this
could not be further from the truth for the majority of blind people it has been
revealed by RNIB role National Institute for the blind that 93 percent blind
people in the UK me included have some form of residing vision and seven
percent had zero vision the stereotype or blindness is based on the Reds and
percent terrifying to think that a perception is based on a very small
percentage or people the 93 percent of people have partial or severe loss this
is why the perception of blindness needs to be modernized and bought into the
2020s there are over two million people in the UK right now living with some
form of eye blindness that has a significant impact on their daily lives
and he predicted to double tube or million by 2050 I have always been a
creative person from a young age and experiencing the isolation that can be
profound deafness I was able to keep myself occupied with drawing painting
and eventually leading me to discover the medicai Nicole BOTS called a camera
from the moment I was told I’m going blind I had this sense of urgency to see
as much as possible photograph and collect as many images and memories
before the curtains are drawn permanently my photography is inspired
by cinema music literature and working but dominantly in black and white
photography is about many ideas in one moment being captured like
texture materials and atmosphere all play a pivotal role in the final image
if you called the dead tree and it’s a long exposure photo it’s my favorite
tree because it’s dead but I find it beautiful there’s life in death so I
found this is Matthew he’s a musician and a teacher can probably tell by his
jacket but isn’t also also musician this is lip pull Street I try to capture it
as being very calm in a sort of place that you want to be but let’s face it we
all know Liverpool Street is a blinking nightmare another musician Nicky can be
fan of clothes texture shadow controls a protesting London
trying to capture the essence of the protest which was very sad pull trait or
flow who is actually a puppet maker and this
is all to do with my sort of bit toy in desk sort of love for photography and
this is an actor but also a carer and if he’s Dungeness Dungeness boat anyone
that’s been to Dungeness we know it’s quite a surreal unusual place but
amazing to photograph Lisa Stansfield a vocalist still toying still recording
music gypsy from Berlin now call her begging for money but I was just very
inquisitive intrigued by her as a person another actor and it is an image that
almost represents my eyesight in a lot of ways my setup in the studio is very
simples using just a single light ranging from boxes which have a
continuous light or I use flash gun and an umbrella the light is what sets the
scene and in sets the scene and mood in my images she’s gonna have a swig of
water it’s a bit weird having everyone staring at you more you treat me more
were photographing people in landscapes I’m able to work with light contrast and
shadow capturing the atmosphere and vision for my mind’s eye the taça fear
has enabled me to participate in the world and connect with really
interesting people and visit fascinating destinations to add to my collection of
memories to reflect later on in life my photography and ambassador work has led
me to collaborate with a newly formed casting agency new Carrie called zebedee
management specialist casting agency for disabled people only children and adults
with diverse challenging disabilities ranging form skin condition Down
syndrome Albinoni’s own cerebral palsy prosthetic limbs and blind people
representing a range of called talented individuals I didn’t take these photos
by the way Harry has already been in a campaign we’ve liver Ireland and he’s
becoming a well-known model plus I want that coat
I’m looking forward to working with deputy and creating new beautiful
imagery next year everybody has something to offer whether it is
creatively academically athletically or spiritually everybody deserves to
participate you don’t need degrees phd’s expertise
just the desire to be open-minded so let’s build this better place we
envision an environment that is catered for everyone show our beautiful diverse
people to the world and let those beers or blind people disappear today and
importantly appreciate the gift of sight you have been given thank you you’re light-hearted approach to such a
powerful and impactful topic he’s incredible so thank you for sharing
so you teamed up with everday and what are you looking to achieve by working
with them coming across Zebedee last year has enabled me to you know work
with people that had the same mission as me I really want to push the boundaries
with the way that we advertise in the media because we know that social media
you know if the aspects has a huge effect on people and I really want to
start including all the diverse range of people and I think it’s our right to be
included and let’s face it we all are people living on this round walk and we
need to just get involved and just be included really thank you that weighs
thinking