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Audism in the Arts
The incidents of audism throughout the world of Deaf theatre and behind-the-scenes activities have not only occurred in France but also through transnational scenes. For instance, the adaptations of plays such as The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter in New York (2009) and Children of a Lesser God in Paris (2015) provoked protests among Deaf people who did not recognize themselves in the hearing characters filling the Deaf roles, and because many experienced Deaf actors could have taken on those roles. The backlash, which is echoed on both sides of the Atlantic and elsewhere, stems from physical manifestations by Deaf people are not understood due to the ideological and modality differences. Should Deaf people be confined to an underground scene to portray their very own selves? Even though they are bathed in a "majority" culture; can we speak of the phagocytage, an attempt to confiscate the authentic Deaf culture? Would the latter be sidelined for dark mercantile reasons, among other things? Counter-examples exist, such as the Broadway play Spring Awakening (2015), with Deaf actors performing roles that accurately represented their community. The corollary of this feeling of oppression has led to positive actions through the Deaf Talent movement, the reversal of empowerment leading to the pride of Deafhood and an appreciation of Deaf people's contributions as expressed through Deaf Gain. The analysis surrounding this tension addresses the cultural and linguistic approbation of the various forms of Deaf' voices'.

Apr 21, 2021 07:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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