Billy Read

We are The Revolution

Billy lives in a world of constant surveillance. Government computers track everyone’s movements, and record everyone’s conversations.
‘For your security,’ they say. ‘For your safety.’
Billy knows that’s not true, he knows civil liberties and freedoms are being erased under the guise of protection.
And he knows they can’t control everything. They might track his movements, but they can’t record his sign language, they can’t log conversations within his Deaf community.
But then the prime minister sees two Deaf people signing, and realises he has no idea what they are saying; he feels isolated and powerless around them. They could be plotting against the government, he thinks, or discussing voting against him.
He doesn’t stop to think they might be talking about what to have for tea.
Paranoid, and desperate to keep control, he bans sign language, yet unable to communicate any other way and still wanting to express themselves, the Deaf continue to sign.
‘How are we supposed to trust these people?’ he demands of society. ‘If we don’t know what they’re saying? They could be planning anything.’
With the fear of society behind him, the minister implements a new programme of surveillance – drones are programmed to track the Deaf via their implants and anyone seen signing is arrested.
Unable to hear the noise of the drones approaching, the Deaf community have three choices – forgo their ability to communicate, accept a life in prison, or run.
Leaving his hearing friends and family behind in the city, Billy runs, heading for the cover of the forest where the drones can’t see under the blanket of trees.
Walking into the forest he dreads what the future holds for him – a life of solitude and loneliness in the trees, or persecution and hatred in the city. But then he sees pairs of eyes looking out of the darkness to him. Lifting his fingers automatically to sign a welcome, he stops – supposing it’s a trick?
One person steps out and he sees the implant hanging by their ear. ‘Hello,’ they sign. ‘Come and join us. We are the revolution.’

Abstract by author Kerry Drewery  – A young people’s author who specialises in the Sci-Fi sub-genre about false utopias/ dystopian societies.

Photos: Chris Fonseca, Ariel Fung, Billy Read

Feedback from Communication Specialist College Doncaster

“Billy was an inspiration to our students, both deaf and hearing and of all abilities. He showed them that through dance and drama they could express their emotions and have fun whilst doing this. We were so impressed with how students who were shy and lacked self confidence and self esteem got involved and enjoyed being part of the workshops. Thank you Billy, we cant wait to work with you again in the future.”

“Ariel brought an uplifting and mesmerizing energy to the workshops and was really encouraging to students to become engaged in dance and drama. She is an amazing dancer and an  inspiration to the young people at our school and college. Thank you Ariel, it has been delightful to work with you.”

Tweet from Braidwood School

Practicing and then performing some amazing dances! We loved working with Billy Read. Thank you for teaching us!

What the workshops offer