'The Unseen' How a ground-breaking report inspired an audio drama – Vision Foundation

‘The Unseen’ How a ground-breaking report inspired an audio drama

A new audio drama, ‘Unseen’ is shining a spotlight on the unique experiences of domestic abuse survivors who are blind and vision impaired. Funded by Fight for Sight and Vision Foundation, this unsettling drama has been co-created by victims and survivors with Extant, the UK’s leading professional performing arts company of vision impaired artists. And the result is as powerful as it is important…

A creative response to a distressing report

In October 2022, Vision Foundation launched a report alongside the charity SafeLives on domestic abuse for blind and vision impaired people, The Unseen.

This report unearthed the scale and nature of domestic abuse among blind and vision impaired people.

To tackle the issue, we invested just under £200,000 in projects with a range of organisations, including Extant, who’s brilliantly crafted audio drama intersperses statistics with moving monologues and narrative.

Co-creation with victims and survivors

Empowering vision impaired survivors has been at the root of this project from the outset. As such, Extant writers met with contributors to The Unseen report and other vision impaired survivors in devising the plot. The drama was conceptualised, devised, written, performed, and sound designed by a visually impaired creative team.

Director Ben Wilson said:

“Extant seeks to tell nuanced stories of vision impaired people. Each performer has poured heart and soul into making sure we honour the stories of the victims and survivors who contributed to The Unseen report.”

The play portrays two cases of abuse: one familial and another partner abuse, and masterfully conveys the subtle and insidious effect of domestic abuse for blind and vision impaired people.

Audience reactions

A preview of the drama met with an appreciative response from a specially invited audience. A panel discussion following the performance included our Director of Impact, Eleanor Southwood, and disability activist, Saliya Rashid.

It was a rare opportunity for a discussion amongst audience and panel members which was both poignant and thought-provoking. Many people felt that the medium of audio drama was a particularly accessible and engaging way to explore the issues raised in The Unseen report which is likely to reach more people.

The Extant team hopes that the drama will help people to recognise any abuse they might be experiencing in their own lives and take steps to report and escape it.

Listen to The Unseen drama here >

Read The Unseen report here >

Find out more about how the piece was devised here >