This article argues that blind people’s digital storytelling in Russia constitutes a contemporary grassroots tool of unearthing their public presence. In writing and sharing their stories, they seek (and forge) coalitions and connections, instead of claiming agonistic independence vis-à-vis the nondisabled. Accessible to the broader public on social media, experience-based blind authors’ stories work against the stereotypical rendering of blind people as absent, uniformly tragic, incapacitated, unable and isolated (see also Hartblay 2020). Instead, projects such as Tipichnyi Nezryachiy, reviewed and analysed in this article, host narratives of diverse, relatable and community-embedded blind persons. The presence of such authors and their stories enriches the public imaginary about culturally exceptionalised people (Rapp and Ginsburg 2011; Wool 2015), contributes to the emergent shift in Russian society towards de-escalating the catastrophic emotional impulse typically associated with blindness and opens up new possibilities for inhabiting a shared world for blind and sighted people alike.

Image credit: Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash.

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