It’s time for able-bodied people to take a pause and figure out how we can be more inclusive with the things we consume on the daily.
For most people during the pandemic, watching movies has been an integral part of passing time. However, not all movies include close captions for those who are hearing impaired.
Just last year, Pornhub, a source for – let’s say – more adult movies, was sued by a deaf man for not including captions, which goes against the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Not only that, most Malaysians aren’t even aware that we have our own version of sign language called Malaysian Sign Language or Bahasa Isyarat Malaysia (BIM).
With the lack of awareness towards the everyday struggles of the hearing impaired, it’s vital for us to educate ourselves on the matter. In terms of consuming verbal art, in this case, slam poetry, it’s almost inaccessible to those who are deaf.
With that, the British Council is inviting you to watch a poetry film titled, Walls, which is told entirely by using BIM.
Anthony Chong, who is a deaf community leader and founder of the Malaysian Sign Language and Deaf Studies Association, created this story during the pandemic as a collaboration with Malaysian and UK artist educators.
The purpose of the film is to teach different ways to integrate sign language into poetry and other forms of creative expression.
Walls will be translated into English by performance poet and author, Sheena Baharudin.
Not only is this a unique opportunity to learn more about Malaysian sign language as well as to bridge the gap between the deaf community and the poetry scene, it is also a way to immerse ourselves in the lived-experiences of those who are hearing impaired.
This brilliant initiative will be showcased for free on Facebook Live on Friday (26 February) at 6pm to 7:30pm.
To find out more, click here.