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Deaf Artists and Performing Artists:
In a message dated 6/4/2006 10:15:41 PM Pacific Daylight Time, a hearing ASL student / art student writes:
Is it weird/rude for a Hearie to create ASL art? I really do not want to offend. I noticed that Chuck Baird even uses HOH or Deaf models for the paintings, which is great, but would the Deaf community be offended by me creating ASL inspired art??
Your status as a hearing person is indeed a factor to be considered.
The best approach is to take a stance of "ally" and "student of Deaf Culture." An ethnographer of sorts if you will.
It is helpful if you can come to see yourself as a humble behind the scenes creative genius in embryo who is growing and developing by helping to touch and improve the lives of a community of people who have been oppressed and denied opportunities since the dawn of time.
Er...what I mean is...ah...yah...we've got to downplay your hearingness.
But that is no different from if you were to move to some distant country and immerse yourself amongst the natives. The successful ethnographer will be the one who manages to work, interview, document, and facilitate--without being noticed. Then someday, the ethnographer brings her results back to the mainland to the acclaim of the world at large.
I suspect your endeavors in the Deaf World may follow much the same pattern. Quietly working behind the scenes as you develop your artistic talents and abilities and then after a while the time will come to show your portfolio to the world at large and move on to the mainland of "event design." (See: http://www.eventdesignmag.com/)
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