I Have Face Blindness. This Is How I Recognize You.


Supported by

Continue reading the main story

I Have Face Blindness. This Is How I Recognize You.

Aug. 30, 2022, 5:00 a.m. ET
  • Send any friend a story

    As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.

    Give this article
  • 5

  • Read in app

Video by James Robinson

Mr. Robinson is a filmmaker.

“Adapt-Ability” is an Opinion Video series inviting you to confront discomfort with disability.

We’ve all been there: You run into people on the street, and you suspect you’ve met them before — they certainly seem to know you. But you can’t locate them in the complicated tapestry of memory. Frustration and embarrassment well up inside you, putting recall farther out of reach. So you fake it and beat a hasty retreat.

Now multiply that experience many times over, and you might start to get an idea of what it feels like to be Paul Kram. He has a condition called prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness, a neurological disorder that inhibits the recognition of faces.

In the Opinion video above, the filmmaker James Robinson shows us how Mr. Kram experiences social interactions, his techniques for managing prosopagnosia and the ways the rest of society can better respond to the needs of those who have the condition.

The video is the last in a series of three films by Mr. Robinson, each of which explores what it’s like to live with a specific disability. The first is about retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye condition, and the second is about stuttering. Disability is a very personal subject for Mr. Robinson, who also made the Emmy-nominated Opinion video “Whale Eyes,” about his own struggles to manage and live with several disabling eye conditions.

James Robinson (@ByJamesRobinson) is a filmmaker.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: [email protected].

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

Related Articles

Back to top button