INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Simon Allen is artistic director of Seeing In The Dark [SITD]. Conceived in partnership with development consultant David Curtis this is an ongoing disability awareness project that has taken place in Bangladesh, India and Cambodia. It combines multi media arts practices and development strategies to create effective experiential tools that advocate for positive change in policies affecting the disabled community.

Seeing In The Dark was featured by the
Department For International Development in their global journal publication Developments (No.27) as a study of good practice. Subsequently the project diary and report was chosen for global publication by Mobility International USA.

SITD 2003 Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Amongst the many outcomes of the original project in partnership with Social Assistance and Rehabilitation for the Physically Vulnerable [SARPV] is that the Bank Of Bangladesh has reprinted the Bangladeshi currency (Taka) in revised sizes to facilitate identification of different currency denominations by the visually impaired.
Training of SARPV facilitators ensured the continuing legacy of this activity; subsequent projects being staged in other parts of Bangladesh.
http://www.sarpv.org/casestudies/seeinginthedark
http://www.healthlink.org.uk/projects/advocacy/cfa_sid.html

SITD 2005 Ahmedabad, India.
Further exploration of this model in partnership with the Blind People’s Association of India [BPA] attracted generous private funding. This is enabling the project to become a permanent installation in a purpose built basement at BPA headquarters in Ahmedabad. It will function as a hub for advocacy and a sensitization centre for teachers, policy makers, families of people with disabilities as well as the broader public. [pictured below]

SITD 2011 Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
A consultative partnership between the UK, SARPV (Bangladesh) and Krousar Thmey School led to the first Cambodian Seeing In The Dark. Facilitated in Phnom Penh by David Curtis (coordinator of the Australian Red Cross, Cambodia Initiative for Disability Inclusion) and Julien Strens (Krousar Thmey).

P201009_17.02
New building with basement designed to house a permanent SITD installation at BPA headquarters India.