A desire for ‘every day’ representations of people from their community. Artist Rinkoo Barpaga of Deaf Explorer aims to transform deaf stories through theatre working with Deaf theatre makers and young people in Pakistan and Birmingham.

Find out about the commissions

Rinkoo Barpaga will explore, ‘where do I belong?’ Rinkoo will perform to groups of Deaf people in both Birmingham and Pakistan, supporting and inviting the audience to create their own response to his work, looking at their experiences of belonging. The pieces will then be woven together to create a critical dialogue about the lives of Deaf people in Birmingham and Pakistan. In Pakistan he will work in Schools and Training Centers run by Deaf Reach. Founder of Deaf Reach Richard Geary shares Deaf Explorer’s ethos, ” If we view the Deaf community not as a disability group, but as a minority culture that speaks another language (sign language), our perception changes. We then realize that to succeed the Deaf simply need empowerment through education; the same opportunity that is everyone’s right.”

Rinkoo’s connections within the Deaf community and as a Deaf creative leader, he will draw new audiences to the work and inspiring and enabling Deaf members of the Pakistani community to see themselves on stage and giving a platform for their stories.
Rinkoo will transform the narratives built around the deaf Pakistani community challenging perspectives of both the wider deaf and hearing communities.

The R&D will start in  March with a visit by Deaf Explorer to Deaf Reach.
More about the commissioning organisationTransforming Narratives Take a journey into understanding Bangladesh, Pakistan, Birmingham. For decades, people have left their homes to forge a new life in Birmingham, but their stories have rarely been told. Together, we are uncovering these stories, illuminating the artists of Dhaka, Lahore, Birmingham and beyond. We are hearing the new stories, being made now. Finding fresh voices, and taking a new look at old narratives.

Transforming Narratives is a groundbreaking three-year project to establish Birmingham as a leading international centre for contemporary Pakistani and Bangladeshi arts, for the mutual benefit of Birmingham and cities in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
It is managed by Culture Central, supported by Arts Council England and delivered in association with The British Council.