Carmen with the band
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‘I ditched my cane for a marching band’

Carmen Papalia is a visually impaired Canadian artist who hates canes and guide dogs as symbols of blindness. He looks at other ways to explore his surroundings, in order to make art.

Papalia's most innovative performance came when he took a stroll around Santa Ana California, with nothing to guide him but a marching band, and "no prior knowledge of the town". The band's quirky, upbeat tune reflected his walking speed, and musicians played various melodies and tones to warn the 31-year-old of obstacles and dangers such as steps, trees and traffic.

"I ended up wandering into buildings, and restaurants, and all sorts of things, with the band following me," he says.

Footage courtesy of Mickey Fisher.

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