The “Beyond Seeing” Project in Berlin : Day 1

Hi everyone, how are you ?

As you know, I was invited to fly to Berlin, on the 11th and 12th October, to attend different events for the Beyond Seeing project. The project has been launched by The Goethe Institute of Paris and is supported by Fashion and/or Design schools (in Germany, in France, in Belgium and in Sweden. If you want to know their names, they are written in this post). I flew from Brussels Airport in Belgium, very stressed but enthusiastic, willing to meet new people and to know what was waiting for me there.

After one hour in a plane and half an hour in a taxi, without any kind of trouble, I arrived in a hostel named Regenbogen Fabrik, where I was welcomed very nicely. This place is really special, I felt quite good during my short stay. You enter in a yard surrounded by little buildings. The reception is just a very tiny room with one wooden counter, some pieces of fourniture like a table and chairs, and a door leading to a toilet and a laundry space. When you go out and stand on the yard, the “breakfast room” and the rooms are in the building in front of you. In the “breakfast room”, people can seat and eat on mismatched chairs and table, drink in plastic cups. They serve some warm food but be careful if you are vegetarian. I do not think it is possible to avoid meat. In my bedroom, there were three beds. Funny isn’t it ?

Signboard of the Regenbogen Fabrik hostel

There I met my co-bloggers Lydia, Sonja and Typhaine, and the two people working for the Goethe Institut : Timo Unger and Katharina Scriba. All seemed happy, enthousiastic and willing to create something great. We talked about the project, ate lunch together, and then…

we arrived at the ESMOD Fashion School for a very special sewing workshop. In a room full of sewing machines, sergers, professional ironing devices and a lot of other wonderful things, Reiner Delgado, blind, offered to help us sewing a bag from three 50cm x 50cm squares of fabric. Several teams made of one “seeing” person and one visually impaired or blind person took place in front of sewing mattresses, scissors and measuring tools in order to spend a memorable afternoon.

Sewing machines of the ESMOD

Some material : fabric, scissors, pencil, square

in order to cut our pieces of fabric, we (my co-blogger Typhaine and I) had the choice between scissors and a cutter, between the square and a sort of template cut by Reiner in order to act without our eyes. Either because we were a bit shy or because it was the very first time that we sewed anything concrete, we chose to have a look at what we were doing and made it the “classic” way. As i am visually impaired, I was not very good at it but I was there for fun (and also to work a little bit as well).

Then, we pinned and sewed two of our squares, then the third one, using unpredictable sewing machines that gave a hard time to Reiner Delgado and the students and teachers of the ESMOD who were there to help us. But we did not give up. On the contrary, that experience made me want even more to learn to sew, try to master my Grandma’s sewing machine and try to make some little and bigger projects become real.

Reiner cuts the template for our squares with the help of a braille metre.

It is better to pin the fabric before sewing it in order to make it stay in the right place

And let’s sew it !

I was tired (because it is hard to learn something new in another language) but very happy, enthusiastic and proud when I came out of this workshop with the little bag that Typhaine let me keep and bring back home. I really want to thank all the people who participated.

Our bag is ready !

We ate our dinner in a restaurant very nearby. It was called Nest. The food was delicious and it was very affordable. The atmosphere was warm and cosy. We finally said “good night” to each other and went to bed.

See you in the next post for the second day ! 

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  1. […] am back to tell you the end of my story in Berlin (I was there on 11th and 12th October). Here is a little reminder of the first […]

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