Guided by Feeling  

An interview with Vika and Katya, two guides in Lviv’s Museum in the Dark, featured in the forthcoming impact film, Underseen.  

Ben DeVries |
Guided by Feeling  

Our new short documentary, Underseen, tells the story of the Museum in the Dark, where visually impaired guides let sighted people step into their world. Visitors are invited to ask anything, learn by feeling and leave with a new perspective on visual impairment and inclusivity.  

Previous blogs have covered the film's origins with impact people, its ambitions for inclusivity and the resilient Ukrainians behind the scenes. This interview gives the spotlight to Vika and Katya, museum guides whose unexpected stories bring Underseen to life. 

Why did you decide to participate in this film?  

Vika: I decided to participate in the film because I love our museum, and it has been a part of my life for many years. What is happening in our country right now is a challenging period for both the museum and the people living in Ukraine. This film provides an opportunity to show the world the life of visually impaired people and the resilience of people in crisis situations. Also, I really enjoyed the filming process! 

Guided by Feeling  
Vika, guide at Museum in the Dark

Did you experience anything unexpected during filming or when you first attended a screening of the film? 

Vika: For some reason, I remembered when the cameraman allowed me to slightly lift his camera to feel how heavy it was. And they also put headphones on me and gave me a fluffy microphone, a boom mic. You can direct it in a certain direction, and from that side, you hear the sound better. It was an interesting experience. Another memory is of filming outside in very cold, piercing wind. I was filming without a hat because I wanted to look good on camera. Then they warmed me up with hot tea and pastries. I also recall the cameraman's surprise reaction when we nailed a complex shot on the first try.  

During the screening of the film, I cried because it highlights a difficult period in my life, as well as in the life of the museum and my friends. After watching it, I wanted to hug Alina (the museum’s director) and thank her for the museum, which I actually did! 

Katya: What did I feel? This was a new experience for me, filming in a professional documentary. I felt what it's really like, how these sets are organised, and everything is done at a professional level. It’s an unforgettable, interesting experience. Overall, it's a fantastic feeling, I’m thrilled about it, and very happy that I got to be part of such a project. 

Guided by Feeling  
Katya, guide at Museum in the Dark

Would you like to share any stories from the museum that didn’t make it into the film?   

Katya: In our museum, it's interesting not only for the visitors but also for the guides, because fascinating stories can happen, if not every day, then every week, quite often. They are small, minor events, and it's especially intriguing when children come and start asking their straightforward, direct questions. Without any shyness, little kids ask sincerely about whatever interests them. I wish adults would behave the same way. Instead of thinking up different answers to their questions, they would genuinely be interested in what really matters to them. 

It's impossible to list all the stories, but there are interesting cases when children come back and recognise you, approaching you like a friend and asking questions. There was one such girl last summer. It's very interesting to observe people's emotions as they leave the tour.  


In a previous blog, we covered the resilient Ukrainians behind the scenes of the film. What does ‘resilience’ mean to you? 

Vika: It is an inner strength that helps you remain composed and balanced despite adverse or destructive external circumstances.  

Katya: It's about inner strength, patience and endurance. This can be attributed to resilience if we talk about human characteristics. If we talk about business or enterprises, it also applies. If there are various obstacles, both personally and for a business, they manage to stand firm through patience, endurance, inner strength and the ability to adapt to different situations. That is resilience. And maybe it's not just about adapting to situations, but also about finding benefits from even the most challenging circumstances. 

Special thanks to Alina, founder of the Museum in the Dark, who made this interview happen! In our next blog, we’ll dive deep the impact campaign and goals for Underseen. To request a full screener of the film and learn more about supporting it, please reach out to Ben DeVries.  

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