Deaf Explorer were delighted to involve Birmingham Deaf Community in an exhibition at mac’s Community Gallery. Craft space wanted to capture and commemorate D/deaf lived experience and associated stories of courage. Community workshops created a sense of connection amongst Deaf people in Birmingham after months of isolation. During this time, young deaf people experienced fewer opportunities to use BSL.
The proposal by Craft Space to encourage deaf people to make medals was a small act, that developed conversations about who in deaf people’s lives showed courage and deserved a medal. Many young people thought they deserved a medal for all their hard work over the past 16 months. Maral and Asnath Losala delivered the activities. We were pleased that our social media campaign on Facebook worked and women from the deaf community visited the exhibition’s opening. We found out that they want to start their own craft group and similar to the theme of “We are commoners” occupy a public space.
The group of medals made by the deaf community were displayed online and at Midlands Arts Centre Community Gallery as part of Craftspace’s exhibition We are Commoners. The exhibition was on from October 2021 until January 2022. It provided an opportunity for the D/deaf community to showcase their creativity and stories to raise visibility and awareness of deaf people for a wider audience to appreciate.
Thank you Rubbena Aurangzeb-Tariq for doing the BSL tour. Thank you to Jo Carlton at Bid Services and Braidwood School as well as deaf artists from around the country working in Birmingham at the time of the exhibition.
Please scan the QR code to watch example of BSL video telling the participants stories behind the medal.