42 min

Sabriye Tenberken Between Us: Stories of Unconscious Bias

    • Society & Culture

Sabriye Tenberken, from Germany, knows what it is to be marginalised after becoming fully blind at the age of 12. She studied Tibetology/Central Asian Sciences at Bonn University and helped develop the Tibetan Braille Script. In 1997, Sabriye travelled on horseback through the Himalayas and in 1998, along with her partner Paul Kronenberg, started the first school for the blind in Tibet. This school formed the foundation of Braille Without Borders, an organisation that empowers blind people to take their lives into their own hands. In 2005, Sabriye and Paul founded Kanthari in Kerala, south India, a leadership institute for social change makers. Kanthari fosters individuals from all over the world who have overcome adversity and because of that, carry a desire to create social change.

Sabriye is a public speaker, the author of My Path Leads to Tibet, a book that has been translated into 16 languages. She has also taken part with Paul in the award winning documentaries BLINDSIGHT and KANTHARI – Change from Within.



"We had little children who, who came and would say, why do they throw stones at me? And then other children who were longer in our place, they say, because they are stupid! They don't know who you are, and they don't know that you're a human being. And they don't know that blindness is something that has also a lot of advantages. For example, you can read and write in the dark. Who can do this? So I do feel that especially working with kids - back then I've worked with kids, but for adults it comes the same - I think it's very important that we are constantly reflecting on what people try to make us believe. And how is the reality for us? What do we believe? What do we make out of it? And this is getting out of the unconsciousness of our biases into the consciousness of our biases."

Sabriye Tenberken, from Germany, knows what it is to be marginalised after becoming fully blind at the age of 12. She studied Tibetology/Central Asian Sciences at Bonn University and helped develop the Tibetan Braille Script. In 1997, Sabriye travelled on horseback through the Himalayas and in 1998, along with her partner Paul Kronenberg, started the first school for the blind in Tibet. This school formed the foundation of Braille Without Borders, an organisation that empowers blind people to take their lives into their own hands. In 2005, Sabriye and Paul founded Kanthari in Kerala, south India, a leadership institute for social change makers. Kanthari fosters individuals from all over the world who have overcome adversity and because of that, carry a desire to create social change.

Sabriye is a public speaker, the author of My Path Leads to Tibet, a book that has been translated into 16 languages. She has also taken part with Paul in the award winning documentaries BLINDSIGHT and KANTHARI – Change from Within.



"We had little children who, who came and would say, why do they throw stones at me? And then other children who were longer in our place, they say, because they are stupid! They don't know who you are, and they don't know that you're a human being. And they don't know that blindness is something that has also a lot of advantages. For example, you can read and write in the dark. Who can do this? So I do feel that especially working with kids - back then I've worked with kids, but for adults it comes the same - I think it's very important that we are constantly reflecting on what people try to make us believe. And how is the reality for us? What do we believe? What do we make out of it? And this is getting out of the unconsciousness of our biases into the consciousness of our biases."

42 min

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