Transforming Narratives Digital – Creating a visual dictionary of new signs representing lockdown and the pandemic in Birmingham and Karachi

At time of writing this blog Karachi witnesses spike in COVID-19 cases and Birmingham has the ban on inter-household gatherings in private homes. In Summer 2020 Deaf Explorer CIC  successfully applied to Transforming Narratives digital, to create a visual dictionary of new signs emerging in the Deaf community representing lockdown and the pandemic in Birmingham and Karachi.

The project funded by Culture Central and The British Council. The purpose of Transforming Narratives is for Cultural practitioners in Birmingham and Pakistan to work together and collaborate. Words, Signs and VV Photo Dictionary will be a collaboration between Ali Noori a teacher at Deaf Reach and photographer and story teller Rinkoo Barpaga. Together Rinkoo Barpaga and Ali Noori will create digital stories about lockdown using a mixture of photographs and sign language, to express with words and pictures the experience of lockdown in Pakistan. Rinkoo’s work will reveal the differences and similarities, creating a montage for digital distribution, as well as an online performance / provocation about local and global inequality during the Covid -19 crisis, using the digital content. Rinkoo Barpaga will utilise his expertise in video editing and cinematography, to make a very new style of work for social media, that blends performative elements of sign language and VV with photography.