A life-changing experience in 100% darkness!

with sight-impaired facilitators

enabling everyone to
see with eyes wide shut and heart wide open

OUR CAUSE

“Bread in the Dark”

an initiative of the Bread Houses Network, which focuses on working with people with visual impairments.
We created this unique method for community cohesion and personal transformation   inspired by the other creative methods for “Bread therapy” we developed to help the social integration of people with various special needs.

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“Bread in the Dark” partners with the global social enterprise Dialogue in the Dark. It builds and innovates on the already world-famous and successful model of “Dinner in the dark”, where blind people serve guests in the dark and facilitate collective bread-making and inspiring transformational discussions on existential questions.

The mission of the Bread in the Dark events is to connect sight-impaired facilitators with sighted people in 100% darkened environment where the mixed group engages in bread-making as a catalyst for dialogue on various existential questions, experienced tangibly through the processes of kneading bread as metaphors for life. Complete darkness helps position on an equal basis both sighted and visually impaired people, and it enables people to be set free from all of those prejudices, inhibitions, and judgments that vision, unfortunately, constantly stimulates.

 

Our long-term vision for this initiative is to become a self-sustained social enterprise so that the income from the events supports the salaries of the sight impaired facilitators and provide them with meaningful job opportunities. The successful social enterprise tested and proven in Bulgaria can then grow into an international social franchise, in the same way the Bread House social bakery model is already spreading as a social franchise.

HISTORY OF THE INITIATIVE

The Bread in the Dark method and program have their roots back in 2010, when in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, the mother organization of the Bread Houses Network, the International Council for Cultural Centers (I3C), organized the first World Summer School “Arts for Sustainability in Social Transformation” (ASSiST) .

Within ASSiST, the first Bread House cultural center in the world, located in Gabrovo, hosted co-creative sessions using the innovative method “Theatre crumbs” in order for sighted people to make bread being blindfolded and thus to experience the world of those deprived of vision and to re-think their own personal world, mainly through the sense of touch.

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The positive feedback on this methods by the Summer School participants, from over 30 countries on 6 continents, inspired us to continue with the “TOUCH” Project (2011-2012 years), funded by the European Cultural Foundation with partners from Bulgaria (Regional Center for Arts and Culture “The Fabric” and I3C/ Bread Houses Network), Spain (University of Design, Barcelona) and Denmark (the International network Cultura 21-Nordic).

The objectives of our activities were to include visually-impaired and sighted people in creating a new kind of “visual art” – tactile art – meant to be experienced through touch and senses other than vision.

Within the project, the Bread Houses Network developed cooperation with the Spanish National Association of the Blind (ONCE) – branch Barcelona. In Barcelona, together we organized workshops with mixed groups who engaged in kneading bread and creating chocolate bars into molds with messages written in Braille alphabet – as the message of each chocolate bar melts after being read with a finger, the reader has a choice to share or not, or change the message, with the others. This developed method “Bread and chocolate” with sight-impaired people further inspired the idea for the formation of the “Bread in the Dark” network of programs and social enterprises.

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EVENTS

Creating a life-changing experience in full darkness
where blind facilitators enable you to see with eyes wide shut and heart wide open

 

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Visualization of the space for Bread in the Dark with the kneading tables in the forms of world’s continents

We are currently fundraising in order to launch our Bread in the Dark pilot program at the Bread House social bakery in Sofia, Bulgaria. We have already developed the methods and events design for the Bread in the Dark, but we need special equipment for the space.

Our events strive to offer a variety of unforgettable and transformative sensorial experiences to participants, for which we have planned the hand-made construction of unique, custom-made kneading tables in the shapes of world’s continents. We will offer and engage the participants in a series of “TRAVEL IN THE DARK” events, guessing the continent they “visit” and kneading traditional breads with herbs and other aromas for that continent.

tablesWe also need help with the initial equipment of the facilities and darkening of the space:  black-out curtains, with removable items, special furniture and utensils.

What Support we need for the “Bread in the Dark” (A total of 12,200 BGN)

  • For equipment of the sensory space we need an initial investment of 3000 BGN.
  • The six custom made tables will cost around 6000 BGN.
  • For training and hiring blind people as the main facilitators of the events, we need to secure two blind facilitators an initial honorarium of 400 BGN per month for the first 4 months (3200 BGN total), while we train the people and popularize the program in order to secure sustainable income from regular paid “Bread in the dark” events.

 

We thank you in advance for your donation. It can also help your tax deductions, since we are a non-for-profit charitable organization.

CONTACTS

Worldwide

Dr. Nadezhda Savova-Grigorova
Founder and President/Global Coordinator

nadezhda@breadhousesnetwork.org

 

Europe and Bulgaria

Maria Grigorova
Coodinator for Europe and nationally Bulgaria

maria@bread.bg