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jo's picture

silence and understanding

I made a video for my third web event:

Sharaai's picture

What Can A Body Do?

With Christine Sun Kim’s visit to our class, her silly but thoughtful activity, and our visit to the “What Can a Body Do?” exhibit at Haverford, the idea of silence and sound in respect to members of the Deaf community, ASL and those that can hear have continuously popped into my head. I have always found myself intrigued by signing and how beautifully it flows and how much can be said in simple signs. Along with signing come the facial expressions that make up most of the grammar in ASL and the sounds made during conversation. But when it comes to those that hear, silence is often something we fear; a part of our life that we choose to push away but crave at other moments. Ideas of sound and silence are both topics that link themselves with her visit and our class as a whole.

Being able to experience Kim’s art first hand and welcoming her into our classroom, I couldn’t help but feel like connecting it all to our class’ conversations about silence or our approaches to silence. I feel like they are similar journeys. Not to say that our journey is anything compared to hers  but that we have also been struggling to figure out where we belong in an environment filled with silence and what that means for us as a whole class and individually. As Kim said to us and as it says in the “What Can A Body Do?”  gallery pamphlet, her art is her own way of taking “ownership” of sound. As we have been constantly discussing, silence is an element that we may have not directly considered or consciously considered.

Chandrea's picture

Silence: All in the Family

I would like to further explore how I understand silence as a first generation Cambodian-American within the Cambodian community as well as within my own family. In the previous web event paper I wrote about how stifling it was to live in a household dictated by my father. What I struggled to come to terms with was the unexpected guilt that I felt after I realized that my choice to speak out against him may have silenced him. But what I want to explore in this web event paper is how silence is exemplified when I am with my grandparents and any other Khmer speaking person who isn’t intent on purposefully silencing me.

Sarah's picture

Christine Sun Kim: Silence as Discipline and Mediated Viewings of Art

Christine Sun Kim: Silence as Discipline and Mediated Viewings of Art

“Hold your tongue”.  “Use your inside voice”.  “Don’t talk back”.  These common phrases all refer to controlling your silence/voice as a way of demonstrating control and discipline.    From a young age, children are taught rules of silence and quietness at home and at school, to varying degrees given that culture of their environment.  Many of my classmates have talked about being silence in their homes growing up as a sign of respect.  But what does it mean when a deaf person is expected to control their voice or to be aware of the noises they make? Christine Sun Kim, who was born deaf was still expected to lives within the conventional norms of sound.  She states, as a child, “They would tell me: be quiet.  Don’t burp, drag your feet, make loud noises.  I learned to be respectful of their sound.” (Selby)  This experience led Kim to question what it meant to have control over sound and explore this through the avenue of art.

Dan's picture

Frustration with the word....

          In our class journey, we have recognized, outlined, and named several different types of silence. Our daily silent practices display this especially. We’ve been led through guided meditations, during which the conflicting dialogues in our minds cleared but the room was still full of Anne’s voice. We watched a silent pianist for 4 minutes, who aimed to prove that there is no silence, as the world consists of layers of sound, many of which we can only hear when we’re both quiet and listening. We had one class during which we were mindful, placing all of our attention in our feet, and we walked around without speaking or communicating in any form with others. Sarina led an exercise which was about communicating silently, with our bodies, in an action game. I led a blind contour drawing exercise. We’ve made collaboratively written short stories and engaged in soundless free-writes on our assumptions and what has been unspoken between us.

          Most of the exercise facilitators have taken the “silence” requirement to mean the absence of sound. This brings me back to the first question I wrote about in this class – which was inspired by the image of the empty library; I wondered if a library is silent, or a book. Although it has the capacity to be a noiseless space, it is full of symbols and dormant meaning -- meaning that must be read to be heard.

jhunter's picture

Silence for Visitors to Academia

Disclaimer: This is entirely tongue-in-cheek

sdane's picture

Web event

Oops, accidentally posted twice.

sdane's picture

Web event

Attached is my web event for Anne. 

Uninhibited's picture

Hybrid Identities; Silenced Selves

Hybrid Identities; Silenced Selves

            Growing up in a country that was not my own, as I tried to adopt behaviors in order to fit in socially in school and in college, I often felt as though I was abandoning traits that were essential to who I was. In her memoir, Rigoberta Menchú talks about being a Quiché woman but not representing all factors of that identity as a result of having learned Spanish. John Edgar Wideman echoed similar sentiments in saying that the higher he moved on the social ladder, the more alienated he felt from his home, family and more specifically his brother. What is the price that those from marginalized groups must pay when attempting to achieve social mobility by adapting to the dominant culture? Which aspects of their culture and identity are silenced as they choose to highlight or give voice to other versions of the self? How are these people viewed not only by the dominant culture but also by their home culture? I often fear being called a traitor by my family and I hide my accomplishments from them to avoid being seen as “the other.” In comparing the experiences of Rigoberta Mechú and John Edgar Wideman to my own, is it worth the risk to loose a part of the self in order to help our communities and ourselves?

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