Dialogue in Silence

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October 26, 2016 by Liat

Case written and delivered by Daniela Křemenová

Dialogue in silence is global; it exists in Germany, Hamburg, Israel, Holon, Turkey and Instanbul, China and Shangai. It was originally called “Schattensprache”. It was first presented in Frankfurt in 1998. Orna Cohen and Andreas Heinecke developed the concept of silent communication further into a much large exhibition we know today.


The idea was and still is to help to bring social inclusion of disabled and disadvantaged people together. The aim is to include them into the society more as well as to educate people without the disability.


How is this exhibition done?

This is an experience in a complete silence to create silent environment. Just like dialogue in the dark, this study gives you a similar experience. Firstly, trained staff takes participants to a silence zone where visitors are given noise-cancelling headsets. The setting is in a soundproof room in monochromic white. The silence cannot be simulated in the same way as for example dialogue in darkness as it’s more difficult to create silence as oppose to darkness. However with carpets, sound-absorbing wall surfaces and the headsets it creates as authentic experience as possible.

There are different rooms with different activities:

  • INNOVATION TO SILENCE = entrance in the world of silence.
  • DANCE OF HANDS = focus on hands and their capacity to express.
  • GALLERY OF FACES = work on facial expressions.
  • PLAY OF SIGNS = introduction to sign language.
  • FORUM OF FIGURES = learning about the body’s capacity to express via postures and movements.
  • DIALOGUE ROOM = dialogue between visors and the person with the disability, and the support of an interpreter.



The objective of this exhibition isn’t to actually make you feel as if you cannot hear yourself or to teach the sign language but to widen the understanding of communication, improve visual perception and bring people together. As well as that it teach people to get out of their comfort zone. This is done for instance by trying the sign language and the fear of failing. You also have to stare at people and their face expressions and actions to understand what the other is trying to say. Thus, people can gain higher self-esteem from this experience. Another valuable lesson this exhibition teaches is it helps to enhance the power of concentration, again through watching people’s expressions, actions and so on.


I picked this exhibition because it gives you a great example of how to create empathy through an exhibition that allows participants to have a glimpse into the disability and therefore it raises an awareness of deafness. Therefore, this proves how important it is to create exhibitions, case studies or even objects and art to teach people and teach them to be more understanding.





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This course is held at NABA: Nuova Accademia di belle arti www.naba.it by Chiara Gambarana and Liat Rogel

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