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And the Winner Was...

The International Low Vision song contest took place, with great success, on friday 21st of May. The first music competition created exclusively for people with visual impairment was organised by the German Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted (DBSV) together with VIEWS International. Seventeen countries all around Europe were represented and we could not have been happier with the result. From Germany’s jazzy sound to Cyprus’ classical touch and to the UK’s spoken poetry, this competition was a celebration of diversity and unity. The countries appeared in alphabetical order with our very own Belgium opening up the show. Three minutes were given to each participant to introduce themselves and share a few words about their songs. Audio description was provided before every track making the event very accessible and equally enjoyable for our Blind viewers. At the end of the show we had the honour to listen to a video message from Andrea Bocelli specifically made for our event and to host live on air Andrea Begley, winner of The Voice UK 2013, who shared her own experience of vision loss.

One person was the star of the show though, and it’s no other than our first winner. Laura Diepstraten Garcia from Spain. One of the youngest participants (only 14 years old) stole our hearts with her original song “Otra vision”. As she said right after her name was announced, part of her victory was dedicated to the Netherlands which unfortunately weren't represented this year, since she is half Dutch. The Spanish singer congratulated all the contestants and expressed her wish to meet all of them and why not perform together. I will leave you with a line from Laura’s song translated into English, “We need to imagine to be able to see…”