Visual impairment in question – Review by Luiz Fernando de Carvalho Reis (FAI) on the book “The bowl and the cane: stories, memories and trajectories of blind people in Salvador, in search of economic insertion and social self-determination (1963-1993)”, by José Jorge Andrade Damasceno

José Jorge Andrade Damasceno. Cover detail of A cuia and a cane (2022) | Image: RI/UFBA

Abstract: The gourd and the cane: stories, memories and trajectories of blind people in Salvador, in search of economic insertion and social self-determination (1963-1993), by José Jorge Andrade Damasceno problematizes prejudice and explores the empowerment of blind people in contemporary society.

Keywords: Blind people, Prejudice, Visual impairment.


In A cuia and a cane: histories, memories and trajectories of blind people in Salvador, in search of economic insertion and social self-determination (1963-1993), by José Jorge Andrade Damasceno, the results of the implementation of public policies and private initiatives aimed at the assistance, support and professional training of visually impaired people are addressed. The focus is on actions taken by individuals and/or organizations, offering an opportunity to understand how the education of these people developed in Bahia. In addition, the scarce opportunities offered to them in the labor market are explored, revealing detailed information that is not available in other publications. These insights are presented through the exploration of the experiences of blind people. The book seeks to broaden society’s understanding of the capabilities and potential of these individuals, challenging entrenched stereotypes and prejudices. Thus, the general objective is to promote a change of perspective and to promote concrete actions to guarantee the full participation and empowerment of blind people in society.

José Jorge Andrade Damasceno is a professor at the Graduate Program in African Studies, Indigenous Peoples and Black Cultures (PPGEAFIN) at the Department of Human Sciences and Technologies (DCHT), on campus XVI, of the State University of Bahia (UNEB), located in the city of Irecê. The book is the result of his master’s thesis, at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), defended in 1998. In it, the researcher is dedicated to the study of blindness, presenting a comprehensive analysis of the integration of blind people in Salvador – BA, during the 1960s to 1990s, presenting us with a harsh reality and revealing impactful details. The book is organized in two parts, with a total of four chapters, in which blind interviewees express their views on society’s view of blindness.

From the introduction, we highlight the strength and courage that Professor Damasceno demonstrated to pursue his purpose as a researcher, even in front of the doors that were closed, including the ICB, where he passed as a student. The analysis of the interviews carried out in his work allowed him to infer that the performance of institutions for the blind only reinforces the social view that they are dependent people.

The first part – “Stories and Memories of the Process of Inserting Blind People in Schools, Work and Society” – analyzes the various policies and actions implemented by institutions for the blind. Although they should be part of an effort to socially, culturally and professionally integrate blind individuals, this does not occur as a very strong bond of dependency and accommodation is created, from which few manage to break free, as pointed out in the second chapter (p.46). This chapter mainly addresses the ICB’s history as an educational center for blind people in Salvador, during a period of rapid urban growth. It highlights the importance of the work of the blind in the industrial process of the city and the transformation of a shelter into a place that promotes education and autonomy in the urban life of Salvador, between 1960 and 1985, the period of industrialization of the city. Economic expansion and urban limits, imposed by population growth, conditioned the action of the Instituto de Cegos da Bahia (ICB), which became best known for housing a broom factory, generating income for the institution.

It is important to point out that the text repeats information and concepts several times, making it prolix and tiring. Some examples of this are the reiteration of the idea that the Instituto de Cegos da Bahia was not just a shelter, the repeated mention of names of people involved in the foundation of the institute and the redundancy of information about the economic crisis and the reduction in the institution’s collection. There is a lack of clarity regarding the objectives and structure of the ICB, there is a mix of information about its role as a shelter and its role as an educational institution. In addition, the organization impairs the fluidity of reading, excessive citations are used, inserted abruptly.

However, the text presents a detailed contextualization of the ICB’s action, addressing its foundation, changes over time and the external influences that motivated its restructuring. This treatment provides a more complete understanding of the topic, even mediated by interviews.

The institute serves people from zero to 100 years old with blindness, low vision, deafblindness and multiple disabilities. | Image: Filipe Augusto

In the second part – “Histories and Memories of Directions and Trajectories” – a set of narratives about trajectories involving twelve blind people is presented. The objective is to show that these people were subject to the same eventualities and peculiarities of all other components of the social body. Stories are told of blind people who faced obstacles in their lives and contributed to future generations overcoming prejudice and discrimination. Society imposes representations and stereotypes on people with disabilities, marginalizing them and limiting their full development. In the case of blind people, they are often seen as incapable and dependent, which impacts their self-image and claims.

The text of this part, however, presents a confusing structure, with disconnected information and ideas, excessive complex and formal language, long sentences and technical terminology unaccompanied by the necessary clarifications to the reader. There is also a lack of bibliographical references and/or sources that support the author’s assertions. Despite these problems, the text addresses the issue of public policies and private actions in relation to blind people, discussing their professionalization and jobs. It also offers insights into the social and economic changes that have occurred over time and their impact on the inclusion and autonomy of these people. It presents examples that support its claims and highlights the consequences of wars, the emergence of new technologies and the role of institutions, such as the National Industry Service (SENAI) in the search for job opportunities for blind people. The text provides different points of view and opinions, giving voice to different interviewees and their experiences. Finally, it demonstrates sensitivity in relation to the difficulties and needs of blind people, emphasizing the importance of adequate public policies and family support for the promotion of independence and inclusion of these people in society.

In conclusion, the work problematizes almsgiving and its association with blindness, discussing how this practice is seen in society and the persistence of negative stereotypes related to blind people. The text informs that almsgiving is an ancient practice, mentioned in the gospels, being associated with rewards for those who practiced it discreetly and disinterestedly. It points out that, during the Middle Ages, the Church established groups of people considered worthy of receiving alms, including the blind, seen as incapable of providing for their own conditions of existence. The text quotes a newspaper article from 1934 that portrays the blind and blindness with emotion, pity and commotion, highlighting the creation of a foundation as a form of redemption for the blind. Despite the time that has passed, the concepts and ways of thinking present in the article still resonate in the current social mindset.

Despite the relevant statements, the conclusion presents problems of clarity and coherence, as in the previous section. Even so, the discussion that associates begging and blindness and the negative stereotypes that persist is commendable. This reflection aims to awaken in the reader the importance of combating prejudice.

Overall, the work achieves its goals of promoting a change of perspective and encouraging concrete actions to ensure the full participation and empowerment of blind people in contemporary society. As an extensive compilation of the memoirs of sightless individuals, the book serves as a valuable guide for formulating new models of inclusion in the present century. Thus, moving between independence and interdependence, Damasceno challenges the reader to transcend simple philanthropy and instigates reflection on empowerment, going beyond politically accepted academic discourses. For these reasons, this book should be read by health and education professionals, as well as students and researchers in psychology, education, sociology, anthropology, and related fields. Reading is especially recommended for blind people and their families, who can identify with the stories and experiences shared in the book. It is an opportunity to find inspiring stories, learn about strategies to overcome challenges and reflect on how society perceives and treats blind people.

Summary de A Cuia e a Bengala: histórias, memórias e trajetórias de pessoas cegas em Salvador, em busca de inserção econômica e autodeterminação social (1963-1993)

  • Prefácio
  • Apresentação
  • Introdução
  • Primeira parte
    • Histórias e memórias do processo de inserção de pessoas cegas na escola, no trabalho e na sociedade
    • Uma contextualização histórica e espacial do processo de inserção de pessoas cegas na escola, no trabalho e na sociedade – 1960 -1985
    • Políticas públicas e assistencialismo
  • Segunda parte
    • Histórias e memórias de rumos e trajetórias
    • Histórias e memórias de mulheres
    • Histórias e memórias de percursos masculinos
  • Conclusão
  • Posfácio
  • Referências

Download this book for free here


To broaden your literature review


About the reviewer

Luiz Fernando de Carvalho Reis He holds a master’s degree in Strategic Administration from Salvador University (US), a specialist in Theological Culture from Dom Bosco Catholic University (UCDB) and a bachelor’s degree in Administration and Theology. He is a professor at Faculdade Irecê (FAI).  ID LATTES: http://lattes.cnpq.br/1500485484897919; ID: https://orcid.org/0009-0007-1755-3014. E-mail: [email protected]

 


To cite this review

DAMASCENO, José Jorge Andrade. A Cuia e a Bengala: histórias, memórias e trajetórias de pessoas cegas em Salvador, em busca de inserção econômica e autodeterminação social (1963-1993). Salvador: Editora da UFBA, 2022. 341p. Review of: REIS, Luiz Fernando de Carvalho. Deficiência visual em questão. Crítica Historiográfica. Natal, v.3, n.11, maio/jun.2023. Available in <https://www.criticahistoriografica.com.br/en/visual-impairment-in-question-review-by-luiz-fernando-de-carvalho-reis-fai-on-the-book-the-bowl-and-the-cane-stories-memories-and-trajectories-of-blind-people-in-salvador-in-se/>


© – The authors who publish in Crítica Historiográfica agree to the distribution, remixing, adaptation and creation of their texts, even for commercial purposes, provided that due credit is guaranteed for the original creations. (CC BY-SA).

 

Crítica Historiográfica. Natal, v.3, n. 11, May/June, 2023 | ISSN 2764-2666

Pesquisa/Search

Alertas/Alerts

Visual impairment in question – Review by Luiz Fernando de Carvalho Reis (FAI) on the book “The bowl and the cane: stories, memories and trajectories of blind people in Salvador, in search of economic insertion and social self-determination (1963-1993)”, by José Jorge Andrade Damasceno

José Jorge Andrade Damasceno. Cover detail of A cuia and a cane (2022) | Image: RI/UFBA

Abstract: The gourd and the cane: stories, memories and trajectories of blind people in Salvador, in search of economic insertion and social self-determination (1963-1993), by José Jorge Andrade Damasceno problematizes prejudice and explores the empowerment of blind people in contemporary society.

Keywords: Blind people, Prejudice, Visual impairment.


In A cuia and a cane: histories, memories and trajectories of blind people in Salvador, in search of economic insertion and social self-determination (1963-1993), by José Jorge Andrade Damasceno, the results of the implementation of public policies and private initiatives aimed at the assistance, support and professional training of visually impaired people are addressed. The focus is on actions taken by individuals and/or organizations, offering an opportunity to understand how the education of these people developed in Bahia. In addition, the scarce opportunities offered to them in the labor market are explored, revealing detailed information that is not available in other publications. These insights are presented through the exploration of the experiences of blind people. The book seeks to broaden society’s understanding of the capabilities and potential of these individuals, challenging entrenched stereotypes and prejudices. Thus, the general objective is to promote a change of perspective and to promote concrete actions to guarantee the full participation and empowerment of blind people in society.

José Jorge Andrade Damasceno is a professor at the Graduate Program in African Studies, Indigenous Peoples and Black Cultures (PPGEAFIN) at the Department of Human Sciences and Technologies (DCHT), on campus XVI, of the State University of Bahia (UNEB), located in the city of Irecê. The book is the result of his master’s thesis, at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), defended in 1998. In it, the researcher is dedicated to the study of blindness, presenting a comprehensive analysis of the integration of blind people in Salvador – BA, during the 1960s to 1990s, presenting us with a harsh reality and revealing impactful details. The book is organized in two parts, with a total of four chapters, in which blind interviewees express their views on society’s view of blindness.

From the introduction, we highlight the strength and courage that Professor Damasceno demonstrated to pursue his purpose as a researcher, even in front of the doors that were closed, including the ICB, where he passed as a student. The analysis of the interviews carried out in his work allowed him to infer that the performance of institutions for the blind only reinforces the social view that they are dependent people.

The first part – “Stories and Memories of the Process of Inserting Blind People in Schools, Work and Society” – analyzes the various policies and actions implemented by institutions for the blind. Although they should be part of an effort to socially, culturally and professionally integrate blind individuals, this does not occur as a very strong bond of dependency and accommodation is created, from which few manage to break free, as pointed out in the second chapter (p.46). This chapter mainly addresses the ICB’s history as an educational center for blind people in Salvador, during a period of rapid urban growth. It highlights the importance of the work of the blind in the industrial process of the city and the transformation of a shelter into a place that promotes education and autonomy in the urban life of Salvador, between 1960 and 1985, the period of industrialization of the city. Economic expansion and urban limits, imposed by population growth, conditioned the action of the Instituto de Cegos da Bahia (ICB), which became best known for housing a broom factory, generating income for the institution.

It is important to point out that the text repeats information and concepts several times, making it prolix and tiring. Some examples of this are the reiteration of the idea that the Instituto de Cegos da Bahia was not just a shelter, the repeated mention of names of people involved in the foundation of the institute and the redundancy of information about the economic crisis and the reduction in the institution’s collection. There is a lack of clarity regarding the objectives and structure of the ICB, there is a mix of information about its role as a shelter and its role as an educational institution. In addition, the organization impairs the fluidity of reading, excessive citations are used, inserted abruptly.

However, the text presents a detailed contextualization of the ICB’s action, addressing its foundation, changes over time and the external influences that motivated its restructuring. This treatment provides a more complete understanding of the topic, even mediated by interviews.

The institute serves people from zero to 100 years old with blindness, low vision, deafblindness and multiple disabilities. | Image: Filipe Augusto

In the second part – “Histories and Memories of Directions and Trajectories” – a set of narratives about trajectories involving twelve blind people is presented. The objective is to show that these people were subject to the same eventualities and peculiarities of all other components of the social body. Stories are told of blind people who faced obstacles in their lives and contributed to future generations overcoming prejudice and discrimination. Society imposes representations and stereotypes on people with disabilities, marginalizing them and limiting their full development. In the case of blind people, they are often seen as incapable and dependent, which impacts their self-image and claims.

The text of this part, however, presents a confusing structure, with disconnected information and ideas, excessive complex and formal language, long sentences and technical terminology unaccompanied by the necessary clarifications to the reader. There is also a lack of bibliographical references and/or sources that support the author’s assertions. Despite these problems, the text addresses the issue of public policies and private actions in relation to blind people, discussing their professionalization and jobs. It also offers insights into the social and economic changes that have occurred over time and their impact on the inclusion and autonomy of these people. It presents examples that support its claims and highlights the consequences of wars, the emergence of new technologies and the role of institutions, such as the National Industry Service (SENAI) in the search for job opportunities for blind people. The text provides different points of view and opinions, giving voice to different interviewees and their experiences. Finally, it demonstrates sensitivity in relation to the difficulties and needs of blind people, emphasizing the importance of adequate public policies and family support for the promotion of independence and inclusion of these people in society.

In conclusion, the work problematizes almsgiving and its association with blindness, discussing how this practice is seen in society and the persistence of negative stereotypes related to blind people. The text informs that almsgiving is an ancient practice, mentioned in the gospels, being associated with rewards for those who practiced it discreetly and disinterestedly. It points out that, during the Middle Ages, the Church established groups of people considered worthy of receiving alms, including the blind, seen as incapable of providing for their own conditions of existence. The text quotes a newspaper article from 1934 that portrays the blind and blindness with emotion, pity and commotion, highlighting the creation of a foundation as a form of redemption for the blind. Despite the time that has passed, the concepts and ways of thinking present in the article still resonate in the current social mindset.

Despite the relevant statements, the conclusion presents problems of clarity and coherence, as in the previous section. Even so, the discussion that associates begging and blindness and the negative stereotypes that persist is commendable. This reflection aims to awaken in the reader the importance of combating prejudice.

Overall, the work achieves its goals of promoting a change of perspective and encouraging concrete actions to ensure the full participation and empowerment of blind people in contemporary society. As an extensive compilation of the memoirs of sightless individuals, the book serves as a valuable guide for formulating new models of inclusion in the present century. Thus, moving between independence and interdependence, Damasceno challenges the reader to transcend simple philanthropy and instigates reflection on empowerment, going beyond politically accepted academic discourses. For these reasons, this book should be read by health and education professionals, as well as students and researchers in psychology, education, sociology, anthropology, and related fields. Reading is especially recommended for blind people and their families, who can identify with the stories and experiences shared in the book. It is an opportunity to find inspiring stories, learn about strategies to overcome challenges and reflect on how society perceives and treats blind people.

Summary de A Cuia e a Bengala: histórias, memórias e trajetórias de pessoas cegas em Salvador, em busca de inserção econômica e autodeterminação social (1963-1993)

  • Prefácio
  • Apresentação
  • Introdução
  • Primeira parte
    • Histórias e memórias do processo de inserção de pessoas cegas na escola, no trabalho e na sociedade
    • Uma contextualização histórica e espacial do processo de inserção de pessoas cegas na escola, no trabalho e na sociedade – 1960 -1985
    • Políticas públicas e assistencialismo
  • Segunda parte
    • Histórias e memórias de rumos e trajetórias
    • Histórias e memórias de mulheres
    • Histórias e memórias de percursos masculinos
  • Conclusão
  • Posfácio
  • Referências

Download this book for free here


To broaden your literature review


About the reviewer

Luiz Fernando de Carvalho Reis He holds a master’s degree in Strategic Administration from Salvador University (US), a specialist in Theological Culture from Dom Bosco Catholic University (UCDB) and a bachelor’s degree in Administration and Theology. He is a professor at Faculdade Irecê (FAI).  ID LATTES: http://lattes.cnpq.br/1500485484897919; ID: https://orcid.org/0009-0007-1755-3014. E-mail: [email protected]

 


To cite this review

DAMASCENO, José Jorge Andrade. A Cuia e a Bengala: histórias, memórias e trajetórias de pessoas cegas em Salvador, em busca de inserção econômica e autodeterminação social (1963-1993). Salvador: Editora da UFBA, 2022. 341p. Review of: REIS, Luiz Fernando de Carvalho. Deficiência visual em questão. Crítica Historiográfica. Natal, v.3, n.11, maio/jun.2023. Available in <https://www.criticahistoriografica.com.br/en/visual-impairment-in-question-review-by-luiz-fernando-de-carvalho-reis-fai-on-the-book-the-bowl-and-the-cane-stories-memories-and-trajectories-of-blind-people-in-salvador-in-se/>


© – The authors who publish in Crítica Historiográfica agree to the distribution, remixing, adaptation and creation of their texts, even for commercial purposes, provided that due credit is guaranteed for the original creations. (CC BY-SA).

 

Crítica Historiográfica. Natal, v.3, n. 11, May/June, 2023 | ISSN 2764-2666

Resenhistas

Privacidade

Ao se inscrever nesta lista de e-mails, você estará sujeito à nossa política de privacidade.

Acesso livre

Crítica Historiográfica não cobra taxas para submissão, publicação ou uso dos artigos. Os leitores podem baixar, copiar, distribuir, imprimir os textos para fins não comerciais, desde que citem a fonte.

Foco e escopo

Publicamos resenhas de livros e de dossiês de artigos de revistas acadêmicas que tratem da reflexão, investigação, comunicação e/ou consumo da escrita da História. Saiba mais sobre o único periódico de História inteiramente dedicado à Crítica em formato resenha.

Corpo editorial

Somos professore(a)s do ensino superior brasileiro, especializado(a)s em mais de duas dezenas de áreas relacionadas à reflexão, produção e usos da História. Faça parte dessa equipe.

Submissões

As resenhas devem expressar avaliações de livros ou de dossiês de revistas acadêmicas autodesignadas como "de História". Conheça as normas e envie-nos o seu texto.

Pesquisa


Enviar mensagem de WhatsApp