Canon Europe, in partnership with Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), creates an accessible photography exhibition designed for all.



Canon Europe launched ‘World Unseen’, a photography exhibition that invites visitors – blind, partially sighted and sighted – to experience photography in a new, accessible and immersive way. The exhibition was held at Somerset House, London between 5-7 April, 2024 in partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).


There are at least 2.2 billion people globally who have some form of visual impairment¹, for whom photography remains largely out of reach. Designed with the experience of blind and partially sighted people in mind, the exhibition will feature a series of photographs taken by world-renowned photographers. These are accompanied with elevated prints, audio descriptions, soundscapes and braille for a tactile experience that helps visitors connect with these powerful images and the stories they tell.


Sighted people too will gain a better appreciation of the partially sighted experience. Each image will be obscured in different ways to convey different types of visual impairment, from glaucoma to diabetic retinopathy. While this raises awareness of accessibility in arts and cultural spaces, it also draws attention to how inclusive design heightens the experiences for everyone.





The exhibition will feature works from world-renowned photographers and Canon ambassadors from around the globe, including multi-award-winning South African photojournalist Brent Stirton, renowned Brazilian Photojournalist Sebastião Salgado, Nigerian photojournalist Yagazie Emezi, sports photographer Samo Vidic, fashion photographer Heidi Rondak and Pulitzer winning photojournalist Muhammed Muheisen.


An accompanying video series will feature partially sighted individuals, including British disability activist, Lucy Edwards, and Menna Fitzpatrick MBE, Britain’s most decorated Winter Paralympian, who have collaborated with Canon to tell their stories and show their reaction to experiencing this photography for the first time.


“Photography is an incredibly powerful medium that can push the imagination and we want this experience to be accessible to everyone. This exhibition was created with blind and partially sighted people in mind to share imagery and the stories behind them in an entirely new way. With Canon’s elevated print technology, we hope all visitors will feel a deeper connection to the emotions and stories that imaging can bring to life,” says Pete Morris, Brand and Sponsorship Senior Manager, Canon EMEA.





Dave Williams, Inclusive Design Ambassador at RNIB, said: “The World Unseen exhibition opens up the world of photography and enables more blind and partially sighted people to experience the emotive stories, and physical touch, of these iconic images. As a braille user, it’s fantastic to be working with Canon to raise awareness of the possibilities of textured print and to see in action how technology can make art more accessible for people with sight loss.”


This isn’t the first time that Canon has brought the arts to life through elevated print. Through its proprietary PRISMAelevate XL software and Arizona printer series, Canon has been making arts more accessible for blind and partially sighted people for many years, supporting art galleries and museums globally with tactile printing and braille signage. Most recently at an experimental photo exhibition in Vienna and one in the Netherlands.


Find out more here.

  1. World Health Organisation, Aug 2023

Published 11th Apr 2024

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