On the everyday

“Everyday life is both ordinary and extraordinary. Indeed, properly speaking, it is the place where the extraordinary becomes ordinary (who, for instance, doesn’t have an everyday life?) and where the ordinary is finally ready to be recognised as extraordinary.” (Ben Highmore, Questioning Everyday Life, 2002)

This quote by Ben Highmore represents quite well what I feel the project can portray.

In regards to the everyday life of a blind person I believe there is, for us as sighted people, quite a lot of extraordinary things to explore whereas for the blind person these things might be very ordinary. Or at least they seem extraordinary for us because they are performed by someone who is different to us, which means we somehow gain a new understanding for the “everyday”. And vice versa.

Highmore further writes:

If everyday life is going to challenge us into new ways of thinking and new ways of perceiving, then it will need to practice a kind of heuristic approach to social life that does not start out with the predesignated outcomes. In its negotiation of difference and commonality it might, potentially, find new commonalities and breathe new life into old differences. (ibid.)

I believe that by learning about another way of living we also start to perceive and think in new ways and in the case of sighted/blind perception we might find these differences and commonalities Highmore is pointing out. At least this is what I would like to find out and explore in my interview, to show the duality of both these things.

“Everyday life is profoundly related to all activities, and encompasses them with all their differences and their conflicts”, Lefebvre (1991) says, and I definitely want to include this in my questions for the interview, asking about many different activities and how they differ and/or the conflict they might bring and in which way this can be overcome or if it even needs to be overcome (or can just be left out).

I know from my interview with Paul that for example a simple task like writing a note on a piece of paper for him is already something special, he said he wished he could just sit in a room and quietly scribble down a note on a piece of paper but instead he can only use his very noisy typewriter (or a more modern device but it is only single lined so a bit tricky to go back as one has to go through ALL the notes). So this for me is a good example of an everyday task which brings along a difference between me and him and it is these small things I’d like to find out more about.


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