Inkjet print on etching paper
17 1/2 x 17 1/2" (44.5 x 44.5 cm)
In South Africa, particularly its cities and townships, commuters use an extensive system of hand signals to quickly indicate to taxi drivers where they would like to be taken. Anthropologist and artist Susan Woolf documented these signs in a series of gouache paintings, published in the guide Taxi Hand Signs (2007), and then translated them into symbols for the blind, who tend to rely on taxis for transportation: basic shapes—triangle, circle, ellipse, and line—are used in combination to form each hand sign. The shapes, currently compiled in a separate handbook, are slightly raised on the paper, so they can be perceived by touch, and are accompanied by Braille labels. Woolf’s guide has been distributed to blind people throughout South Africa and is being taught in four schools for the blind.