The Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019, has initiated a pioneering initiative, in collaboration with Professor Claude Garrandès and his Nice-based association Arrimage: making the original illustrations of the book The Little Prince accessible for visually-impaired children and young adults for the first time in the world through the creation of a unique tactile edition and the development of innovative artistic and educational workshops.
Afflicted by blindness since the age of 12, Claude Garrandès has committed himself, together with a team of volunteers at Arrimage, to making the arts accessible to the greatest number of people, notably through the sense of touch and relief, so they can learn to see differently. This passionate man, who participates in many sociocultural projects, is not only a Braille teacher and publisher of adapted art books, but also a law graduate, doctor of psychology, psychoanalyst, agrégé professor of economics and social sciences, and an artist.
In a society where images occupy an increasingly important place, the question of access to art and culture for people with visual disabilities is fundamental. Also, through this innovative project of putting into relief Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s original watercolours and drawings, our goal is to be able to share with and transmit to both visually-impaired and sighted children and young adults, for the very first time on an equal footing, all the beauty, poetry and dreams of The Little Prince, a masterpiece of French literature.
Presentation of the art book “The Little Prince” for visually impaired (Editions Garrandes) :
To this end, Arrimage has created, thanks to the support of its partners, new pedagogical tools allowing the development of the “mental image” (the learning of tactile reading and introduction to drawing). In addition to embossed watercolours and drawings, it has made representations in relief of the various characters in the book The Little Prince in different mediums: resin bas-reliefs, 3D-printed sculptures in the round, thermo-inflated paper, etc.
These adaptations allow everyone, particularly visually-impaired children, to comprehend representations in relief according to their level of ability and to gradually move towards tactile drawing. With the help of adapted tools, also based on The Little Prince, participants learn how to draw in relief and carry out their personal works during the educational workshops conducted by Arrimage, in France and around the world, with the support of the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation and its historical partner, Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen.
On the occasion of the 91st Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, Los Angeles, on 24 February 2019, IWC associated its famous brand ambassador, Bradley Cooper, with a unique charitable project. The American actor wore a Big Pilot’s Watch adorned with an exceptional engraving of the Little Prince to the Oscars. This one-of-a-kind timepiece was auctioned by Sotheby’s, and IWC will donate all proceeds to the Antoine de Saint-Exupery Youth Foundation to support its activities with the association Arrimage.
This singular initiative, which echoes the secret revealed by the fox to the Little Prince in the masterpiece by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye,” is also highlighted in the feature documentary film Invisible Essence: The Little Prince, directed by Canadian filmmaker, Charles Officer, and the exhibition The Little Prince – Tactile Edition by Arrimage.
Discover the trailer of the documentary « Invisible Essence : The Little Prince »:
Discover « Le Petit Prince – Tactile edition» :
Articles (on Internet) :
For more information : http://www.arrimage.net/fr/
Photo Credits : Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for IWC
01 : Pr Claude Garrandès, Olivier d’Agay, Charles Officer and Nicolas Delsalle-Mun with the children at the Morgan Library & Museum (New York) during an educational workshop.
02 : Pr Claude Garrandès teaching a blind child to draw for the first time.