Documentary - Blind Man Roams The Globe, The [world Service]

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Blind Man Roams the Globe20170628

Hear the world's cities through the ears of blind BBC presenter Peter White. In this episode he explores London’s Square Mile.

Blind Man Roams the Globe20170628

Hear the world's cities through the ears of blind BBC presenter Peter White. In this episode he explores London’s Square Mile.

BBC presenter Peter White explores London’s Square Mile, from the drama of the stock exchange, through to the changing fortunes of streets where traditional traders are being replaced by wealthy investors.

“Most people assume that vast cities like London are intimidating for blind people like me, with their noise and bustle, but in fact give me a busy city any time to the countryside. Noise, to me, means useful signals to navigate by, bustle means people to ask for help, and cities normally promise decent transport and plenty of places to buy the things you need".

“But I do have a fascination for that little corner of London which combines all those advantages with the feel and the smells of age. Sites like Spitalfields and Leadenhall market still exude the musty aroma of dust that leaks out of the stones and says this has been here for centuries - do not disturb.

“But of course the modern Glass edifices which announce to people that this is a home to important bankers and lawyers who are to be taken very seriously, is competing strongly with the rocks of ages. It is a battle I shall be trying to capture in sound as I negotiate London's Square Mile.

(Photo: HMS Belfast flies the Union Jack in front of the Square Mile financial district, London. Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Blind Man Roams The Globe20170628

Hear the world's cities through the ears of blind BBC presenter Peter White. In this episode he explores London’s Square Mile.

BBC presenter Peter White explores London’s Square Mile, from the drama of the stock exchange, through to the changing fortunes of streets where traditional traders are being replaced by wealthy investors.

“Most people assume that vast cities like London are intimidating for blind people like me, with their noise and bustle, but in fact give me a busy city any time to the countryside. Noise, to me, means useful signals to navigate by, bustle means people to ask for help, and cities normally promise decent transport and plenty of places to buy the things you need".

“But I do have a fascination for that little corner of London which combines all those advantages with the feel and the smells of age. Sites like Spitalfields and Leadenhall market still exude the musty aroma of dust that leaks out of the stones and says this has been here for centuries - do not disturb.

“But of course the modern Glass edifices which announce to people that this is a home to important bankers and lawyers who are to be taken very seriously, is competing strongly with the rocks of ages. It is a battle I shall be trying to capture in sound as I negotiate London's Square Mile.

(Photo: HMS Belfast flies the Union Jack in front of the Square Mile financial district, London. Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

01Blind Man Roams the Globe20170621

Hear the world's cities through the ears of blind BBC presenter Peter White. In this episode he explores London’s Square Mile.

When Peter jets, sails or walks into a new city, it is the sounds, not the sights, which assail him. In this programme Peter explores the twists and turns of Marrakesh. His job as a broadcaster has already taken him to many places and he has developed an arsenal of strategies to get to know a place. He listens to local radio; he takes in the sounds of restaurants, travel systems and the voices of the locals. He also meets other blind people and uses their experiences of an area to understand it better and to appreciate the aural clues which help guide them.

(Photo: People walk through an alley of a traditional souk in the old Medina of Marrakesh, 2014. Credit: Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images)

Hear the world's cities through the ears of blind BBC presenter Peter White. In this episode he explores London’s Square Mile.

01Blind Man Roams The Globe20170621

Hear the world's cities through the ears of blind BBC presenter Peter White. In this episode he explores London’s Square Mile.

When Peter jets, sails or walks into a new city, it is the sounds, not the sights, which assail him. In this programme Peter explores the twists and turns of Marrakesh. His job as a broadcaster has already taken him to many places and he has developed an arsenal of strategies to get to know a place. He listens to local radio; he takes in the sounds of restaurants, travel systems and the voices of the locals. He also meets other blind people and uses their experiences of an area to understand it better and to appreciate the aural clues which help guide them.

(Photo: People walk through an alley of a traditional souk in the old Medina of Marrakesh, 2014. Credit: Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images)

01Blind Man Roams The Globe: Berlin20171116

The sounds and smells of Berlin experienced through the senses of a blind man

Peter White explores Berlin through the sounds of a city that is finding new and imaginative ways to mark its troubled past and plan for its fast expanding future.

It is Peter’s third visit to the city and he is struck by how much it is still haunted by the past. He idles on street corners to absorb the voices around him and he is struck by a familiar lament: people worrying about how much longer they will be able to afford to live in a city with fast rising property prices prompted in part by an influx of foreign investors. His guide is a fellow blind-man, entrepreneur Erich Thurner, who shares the concerns as he contemplates his own future in Berlin.

Through his travels, Peter marvels at the rapid expansion of the transport network and the sense that Government is getting bolder in its architectural grandeur. Expansion comes at a price for some, with immigrant labourers camping down for the night on the pavement of the monumental boulevard, Karl-Marx Allee.

02Blind Man Roams The Globe: Christchurch20171122

Life in Christchurch, New Zealand, as it recovers from two earthquakes

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand. As it strives to recover from the devastation caused by two earthquakes, blind broadcaster Peter White has taken his microphone to the city.

Local people have been asked to choose the best use for areas which have been destroyed now that the rubble has been cleared. And Peter wanders into a field of dancing Kiwis, all with headphones connected to a vast washing machine like structure. It is an open air disco - of sorts - to revive the spirit of the city and restart its pulse.

Peter listens to stories of loss, but also of dramatic escapes and the sounds that continue to endure, like the trams and the trains. He explores new buildings, including a paper Cathedral and given the local appetite for dare devil adventures, he agrees to roll up his trousers in search of marine life!

(Photo: Re-START Mall, which opened in the aftermath of the city's devastating earthquake in February, 2011, in central Christchurch, New Zealand. Credit: Marty Melville/AFP)