Revising modern divisions between blindness and sightedness: Doing knowledge in blind assemblages
Western society associates knowledge with vision while affiliating blindness with ignorance.
Following critical disability studies and drawing upon non-structured interview data and
ethnographic observations with visually disabled people, the article opposes this idea by examining
how blind assemblages construct knowledge and highlight its heterogeneous and dynamic
character, usually obscured by visual shortcuts. After discussing how the research participants
encounter discourses devaluating knowledge not based primarily on vision, the article focuses on
divisive practices that lead to the construction of dis/ability and ab/normality, and how they can
be revised by conceiving knowledge, senses and dis/ability as assemblages. The heterogeneous
and dynamic character of knowledge, which the text argues for, defies perceiving blindness as a
deficit and blurs the divisions between the self and the other as well as the sighted and the blind
since knowledge is produced collectively.