The “Art in Passing” project by the organization Street Art Belgrade, which creates 3D models of murals for the blind and visually impaired, was presented in Vienna at the annual Zero Project conference held in the United Nations building.
The project of the organization Street Art Belgrade was recognized as an extremely innovative and creative way of bringing art closer to blind and partially sighted people and was chosen to be presented within the official program of the conference with more than 1000 participants from all over the world.
For more than 10 years, the Zero Project foundation from Vienna has been dedicated to finding and sharing innovative solutions that improve the daily life and rights of all people with disabilities. During a private visit to Belgrade, their representative came across one of the nine models of murals that Street Art Belgrade installed in the city in the last two years and recognized the potential to present the project to a wider international audience.
As part of the cooperation with the Zero Project Foundation, Street Art Belgrade produced three 3D models of murals from the Calle Libre festival that will be installed in the center of Vienna, in the Karl-Farkas Park. These models are also featured in the first Austrian inclusive museum guide. During the three days of the conference in the atrium of the UN building, the famous Serbian artist Jana Danilović painted a mural called “Inclusion”. For this mural a 3D model was created with a description in Braille, and for the first time 3D elements (birds) were included in the painting itself. The mural and 3D models were presented at the closing ceremony of the conference, after which they will go on a tour of galleries throughout Austria.
The mural “Inclusion” depicts the universal truth that touch and love break down all barriers and remain a source of strength for everyone.
About the project “Art in Passing”
The goal of the project is to bring street art closer to blind and partially sighted people through the installation of models made with 3D technology. Models are an innovative approach to the presentation of street art and graffiti, because with 3D technology, blind and partially sighted people are enabled to get to know the works of art on the streets of Belgrade through touch. Along with the works, there are Braille descriptions that can rarely be found in the public space. The first 3D models for the blind and partially sighted were installed in 2021 on the occasion of October 15th, which is celebrated worldwide as the Day of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and to date a total of nine models have been installed in Belgrade in different locations – the city center, Vračar and New Belgrade.
“We have always been of the opinion that street art is the freest form of art and that it is accessible to everyone because it is on the streets. However, blind and partially sighted people are excluded from this artistic expression. That’s why we decided to create 3D models of the murals. In this way, we wanted to bring works on the street closer to the blind and visually impaired and to draw the attention of the general public to the needs of this group of citizens, their inclusion in the daily life of the city – and street art is certainly an important part of that” – the statement of the Street Art Belgrade organization. “We are very happy and proud that we had the opportunity to present and realize the project outside of Serbia and to convey our experience to an international audience in order to increase the accessibility of art to all members of the community” – concluded the members of the association.
Conference participants from the USA, Australia, Bulgaria, Israel, and Great Britain showed interest in the project and the first initiatives to implement the project in those countries have already been launched.
Artist Jana Danilović believes that this is a great opportunity to show how important it is to be aware of how public space is used and that street art, which we perceive as exclusively visual, can also be tactile.
“This project quite unexpectedly opened up a new field in art for me, how to act further in my work in order to include the tactile aspect. For most street artists, a democratic approach to art is very important, and it turns out that there is one group of people that is completely excluded, and this is one way to correct that.”– says Jana Danilović
The presentation in Vienna, the creation of models and murals is supported by the Zero Project foundation, the European Union platform – Culture Moves and the Goethe-Institut, the national platform Serbia Creates responsible for the international promotion of creative industries, as well as the city organization of the blind in Belgrade.
Contact: Jelena Popović Đorđević firstname.lastname@example.org
This work was produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union.
Photography: Zero Project Conference 2023, © Pepo Schuster, austrofocus.at