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Deaf Jam & Disability Culture/ Missing Post- April 7th

Magnolia's picture

Deaf Jam was incredibly eye opening and thought-provoking to me, as I had never heard of ASL poetry before viewing this film. I especially loved how much personality was shown through the different poems each member of the after-school group created and performed. The use of the whole body to create a performance that not only encaptulated the literal meaning of the poem itself, but also to convey a kind of individuality and culture that only members of the deaf community could bring, was absolutely breathtaking. I think ASL poetry really does an amazing job at showing that Deaf culture is not just another branch of disability culture, nor is it just a buzzword to be thrown around when trying to explain differences and individualities of people in the Deaf community, compared to those who do not define themselves as belonging to it. Deaf Culture truly does refer to the kind of community deaf people form, invest in, and cultivate in a world that is not accessible enough for them to engage in the day to day activities those of us outside of the community see as typical and "normal". I think ASL poetry does a really beautiful job of showing just one small side of how Deaf culture takes these inaccesibilities given to them and uses them to redefine the meanings of words, hobbies, artforms, etc.... Definitions that we outside of the deaf community believe to be set in stone.