Redifining D-E-A-F by Ryan Commerson

Discussion in 'Our World, Our Culture' started by shel90, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. shel90

    shel90 Audist are not welcome Premium Member

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    Re-defining Deaf - Synopsis



    This is a VERY POWERFUL narrative about the ideology of deafness and sign language.

    It can change your view on deafness and sign language if you keep an open mind.

    When he talked about getting limited information about a culture, people develop an idealogy of that culture and what it represents but until they get involved with the culture, nobody has a clue about the culture. Not at all. It is true because growing up, I had my own idealogy of deafness and sign language and when I decided to become a teacher, I brought that idealogy with me. When I exited the teaching program, my idealogy had totally changed. What he said in this video is so true.

    One info that I didnt know about...in the 17th century, sign language was looked up at and idolized. Amazing piece of history.

    The narrator is very well-known in the Deaf community and I believe (I could be wrong) that he graduated with his PhD. Anyone feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

    Ok, the narrator is narrating in ASL BUT for those who do not know ASL, there is a "CC" box on the bottom right to click on for closed captioning.

    This video is about 45 minutes but WORTH it if u want to understand the real history of deafness and Deaf culture.

    Enjoy!
    Shel90
     
  2. TWA

    TWA New Member Premium Member

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    I've seen this video before. It's very interesting, and it's great to see ASL used to describe very abstract and complex ideas clearly, which even spoken or written English would have a time doing. That aspect alone is great to see, as it proves the naysayers wrong about ASL's intellectual ability.

    But, I have a few questions about the composition of the piece itself. I wonder what the secondary narrative in the movie with the man and woman hooking up for a sexual encounter has to do with the "call to action" in the video about producing ASL movies and TV shows for the hearing world. I brought this question up to my Deaf ASL instructor and she told me that there is a hidden message in there, but for the life of me I cannot figure it out. Any ideas?

    Also, while I like Ryan's vision of creating an ASL production center for movies and TV shows, I'm not sure if he goes on to explain how this is going to improve the synchronicity of the two worlds? It's a great idea and a fine start, and perhaps that's all that's important right now, but how is this vision going to translate into a better communication between two very isolated cultures?

    BTW, Ryan gets mega points for tying Foucault into the discussion!!! Most hearing people don't even know who this guy was or how important his thinking has been to the direction of 20th century social theory.
     
  3. shel90

    shel90 Audist are not welcome Premium Member

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    My interpretation of the second narrative is the defying of the stereotpyical ideologies associated with the word, "deaf'...two people with the same views made a connection..remember the other guy introduced himself to the girl but no connection was made so he walked away and she saw the other guy signing about achieving a dream. The girl has dreams too so that was the attraction factor leading to the connection. That's why a large percentage of deaf people always find a connection with each other and within that a culture was formed defying all these negative stereotyping the media created in people's beliefs of deafness.

    Just my interpretation...I have a feeling the 2nd narrative is open for any interpretation. Who knows?

    Ryan wants us to use the media to change these old idealogies that were formed when the word "deaf" was created...IMO, that's the first step to take..
     
  4. Bebonang

    Bebonang Active Member

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    :aw: The word is ideology, not idealogy, Shel90. I just want to make an correction for you. It seem to have an o before the logy which is most common to add the word to the logy. If you can look up in the dictionary that there was a o before the logy. I know you are the teacher of the Deaf, anyone can make mistakes when they spell. :lol:
     
  5. Grummer

    Grummer Active Member

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    ideology isnt black and white it is also subject to mutation of beliefs, as does it showed with the slow acceptance of d/Deaf wearing/using cochlear implants. two 'isolated world'? im not so sure about that, maybe it is in linguistic terms, but ideologically, references to preferances for material gains, certain veiws regarding justice, consesus of prefered ways of handling situations is also determined by the dominant discourse.

    Foucault was a genius, he died of AIDS back in 1984. He was way ahead of time in terms of looking at how we police ourselves and at how we could analyse and criticise of social patterns and institutions. He wasnt a sociologist but philosopher, however these famous ideas were found to be more relevent for sociology as the discussion and applying these ideas to probe into interactionalism and panopticism (surveillence) offered fresh perspectives of explaining social behaviours.
    A more difficult sociological theory to absorb amougst Habermas, Lucas, Derrida, and Marx.
     
  6. dreama

    dreama New Member

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    Could someone please type out a transcription for this Video. I am very interested and would be very greatful if this could be done.

    Helene
     
  7. dreama

    dreama New Member

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    Please could someone make me a transcription of this as I am deafblind.
     
  8. Bebonang

    Bebonang Active Member

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    dreama, I or any other Deaf can not do all the transcript for forty five minutes. That is the longest program. I have seen this before but I do not want to watch for that long any way. Some of the discussion is a little bit repeated, but have good points on Deafness and sign language. I do wish there is a way to put a transcript or some kind of caption under the screen that will help the blind. For this I am sorry. :(
     
  9. Buffalo

    Buffalo Active Member

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    Hang on... it will be on the way.

    It would be nice if they included a transcript for DB.
     
  10. Buffalo

    Buffalo Active Member

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    Re-defining Deaf - Movie

    [A good looking African-American woman walking down the busy street]
    I used to dream militant dreams of taking over America to show these white folks how it should be I used to dream radical dreams of blowing everybody away with my perceptive powers of correct analysis to stop the riot and negotiate the peace then I woke and dug that if I dreamed natural dreams of being natural woman doing what a woman does when she’s natural. I would have a revolution

    [Credits showing in here]
    [Headline]
    Media, Power & Ideology: Re-Presenting D-E-A-f

    [A man with eyeglass and start-to-graying ponytail/goatee signing]

    This is a public proposal to the signing community to establish a media center for the purpose of producing …TV shows and movies to be distributed through the internet… iPods … Cable as well as theaters…. Showcasing the use of ASL as a human language and to renovated and redefine… this four-letter word, D-E-A-F. What does it really mean? [The woman was walking into the bar where there are other deaf people signing.] Let me ask you this: What comes to mind when you hear or read the word “deaf”? Why it is a popular belief that Deaf people have poor English skills? Why are the majority of the deaf people assisted with Social Security Income? Why is the federal government spending millions on “hearing loss” research? Why is learning sign language a multi-million dollar industry for hearing people while… Deaf babies are refused access to the language that is most natural to them? Why did it take Gallaudet University 143 years to embrace a bilingual mission - incorporating ASL and English in the academics? Lastly, why has there been a 150-year-long international campaign to rid the world of deaf people? Deaf babies born around the world are receiving cochlear implants at an exponential rate. Answer? Ideology.

    [Multiple pictures of image going by so fast and then this heading]
    Ideology - “The dimension of social experience in which meanings and values are produced.” - Valentin Voloshinov

    [A party is going on. A white man with glasses walked up to the woman (same woman in the beginning) and started asking her for her name]

    Man: What is your name?
    Woman: Mary
    Man: I’m Keith.
    Man smiles (he got dimples) and shyly walked away to another white man in a black hat. The man in hat (he got 5 o’clock shadow - beard that is starting to grow and he is bald - just top part) took off his hat and start signing a song.]
    Dream… [tried to grab something in the air] Dream…. [caught something in the air and holding it as if it‘s a ball-shaped.] Dream… [flattening the ball shaped ‘object‘ and it started to crumbling] Dream… [showed something had sprouted skyward. The woman had gotten up and walked up to the man in the hat, and started to smile.]

    [Back to the speaker]
    Ideology. What do you think it means? I’ll give you an example.
    [An image of the title page - ‘A Dissertation On Speech, in which not only the human voice and the Art of Speaking are traced from their origin, but the means are also described by which those who have been deaf and dumb from their birth may acquire speech, and those who speak imperfectly may learn how to correct their impediments.’ John Conrad Amman, M.D. Plurima jam fiunt, fieri quae posse negabant] He published a booklet in 1700 describing how to train deaf children to speak orally. In his article, he used the following words to describe deaf people:
    [Image of the booklet (page 2) where some words are bolded for us “How dull are they in general! How little do they differ from animals!” especially if their parents and relations have neglected them, and taken no trouble by nods and signs to get rid of their natural incapacity and produce a certain manner of thinking. And even if their parents are most attentive to them, how inadequate and defective is the language of gestures and signs which they must use! To how few relatives and friends is their intercourse restricted! How little do they comprehend, (page 3) even superficially, those things which concern the health of the body, the improvement of the mind, or their moral duties! Who does not pity their wretched condition? Who will refuse to relieve it by all the contrivances which can be devised? But it is an aggravation of this heavy calamity that the appliances of medicine and art have been believed by every one, as far as I know, unavailable for its relief, and that it has been ranked among incurable evils. After close investigation, I found that most of the mutes have their organs of speech perfect, and that they are speechless because they are deaf; and although I have despaired.]
    Reading his words may upset you. However, hold your blame for a moment. Imagine yourself in 1700’s. In 1760, 60 years later, the first class of Deaf students were initiated by Abbe de l’Epee… of which Larent Clerc later attended. That was in 1760. Prior to that time, there was no formal education, no formal training, signing … nor a place for deaf children to socialize. None. All over Europe. Nothing, Sure, there were private tutors here and there….But there were no deaf schools to gather at. None. So what was to become of them once a deaf child was born? In essence, they’d be wandering aimlessly…and mimicking the environment around them. Conrad watched this with his own eyes; his learned values of speech, of what was right and wrong…. And interpreted this behavior as deviant according to the understanding that was instilled into him. This contradiction came into being because of his ideological perspective. Was this perspective a fault of his? Who knows? How could he possibly know the proper way to view them? He interpreted this behavior the only way he understood it, and put it into words. He wasn’t the only one who did so. There were several others, as well. For instance, in 1653, John Wallis published a booklet on how to train the deaf to speak. There were several others just like him. Remember, this is key: RE-PRESENTATION. Seeing it, visualizing it, interpreting it, and documenting it. This documentation is distributed throughout society, into public awareness. Another person would read this document, then redistribute it through his/her own cycle, and so on. The cycle continues to no end.
    [Solomon Alberti - 1591
    G. Bonifacio - 1616
    Juan Pablo Bonet - 1620
    John Bulwer - 1648, 1654
    John Wallis - 1633
    George Delgarno - 1680
    Johann Conrad Amman - 1694, 1700

    (Davis 1995)]

    The documents are passed through generation after generation…and are given to you today; your understanding of the world are based on assumptions. Your understanding of the world is filled with information from your upbringing, bits and pieces from other places….in addition to those written articles you have read, and is snowballed to this large sphere of ‘knowledge”… which combine to construct your views. This construct is ideology. All based on assumptions. Ideology is the problem. How does one change ideology? In your social experiences as you were brought up, you produced meanings and values. What is the significance of meanings and values? Let’s take the word “Earth”, for instance. What do you think of when you hear or read this word? Where you live, the smell of the air, the forest... There’s a wide variety of things connected to the word, “Earth”. When it comes to values, this could vary widely, some would care heavily about it and other would not. That’s the framework of meanings and values. The framework is the system of representation. And what is the significance of this system? It’s called culture. To change ideology, you must change the representation. One instance of representation, is “deaf”. Once a deaf baby is born, it doesn’t hear, That’s a fact. A biological fact. However, what does the fact that the baby doesn’t hear actually mean? That it’ll grow up isolated. Is that really the case? That thought is created by ideology.
    [Out in the street, the woman cross the street with the man in the hat, holding hands.]
    Before we change representations. One must understand what a sign entails… and how the meanings affixed to signs brought us here. Ferdinand de Saussure, dubbed as Father of 20th Century Linguistics…mapped out sign into tow parts, the signifier and the signified. A signifier is the symbol expressed in a language, such as the spoken or signed word, “Earth”. That’s a signifier. Take “Earth” to mean a globe of water.. That is what the word signifies.
    [Image of a smiley with caption “Earth is flat” with “Signifier“ pointing at the captions. The smiley is thinking about ships falling over the edge of flat earth. The word “signified‘ is pointing at the ships going over the edge. Now the plus sign showed up between “signified“ and “signifier“ and then an equal sign and the word ‘sign‘. Now “signified“ + “signifier“ is equal to “sign“.]
    The visual image of “Earth” has changed over time. People once thought Earth was flat. The word “Earth” remained… but the image of it changed from flat to round. A rocket shop took images of the planet from above, and saw that it was an actual living organism.
    [Back to the smiley thinking about the falling ships. The thought cloud had change to that of planet Earth.]
    As you can see, what is signified changes over time. That’s why people say language is a living thing. Language always grows and changes. As you can see, that is the case. If you compare the old perspective and the current perspective of sign language… you will see that it has changed as well. How did that came about?
    [Caption: ‘We proceed tentatively with our words; they soar with their signs.” Fauchet 1790]
    During the mid-17th century, philosophers held sign language in high regard. It was even suggested that every Parisian should learn to sign. At that time, sign language represented truth, nature and the divine. All this changed within the next few decades.
    [The woman and the man in the hat stepped out of the house. They started kissing.]
    [Caption: Sign Language is a natural and true human language… what happened?]
    [Portrait of a curly-haired man in high collar with caption: Jean-Marc Gaspard Itard - Chief Physician at National Institution for Deaf-Mutes.]
    The “Wild Boy of Aveyron”, named Victor, was discovered, taken in and …studied by Itard from 1801 to 1805. This particular boy lived his life in the woods with animals. He could hear, He could speak, He had hearing, but wasn’t considered “hearing”. He didn’t speak like the majority, or understand the majority. They tried to train this boy to speak and communicate, but it was unsuccessful. This particular training was applied towards the deaf students at the institute. That lead to the concept of “deafness”.
    [Caption: The Birth of Modern Deafness]
    One would think, “the birth of modern deafness”? Deaf people have been around for thousands of years. True, but deafness as a major medical study? That began two hundred years ago. How did “deafness” come about? Itard performed tests on deaf students. He would make a loud sound, and the students would raise their hands when they heard it. Itard documented all of this, and worked with one deaf student after another. This was the first time that ranges of hearing became visible. Because of this particular documentation, Itard went to a medical assembly and gave a presentation titled:
    [Caption: Itard delivered two memoirs to the society of the Faculty of Medicine “On the Means of Providing Hearing to Deaf-Mutes“ “On the Means of Providing Speech to Deaf-Mutes“]
    As you can see, this is how the birth of deafness came about, and this coincided with oral education. Itard was known as the father of audiology. In regards to meanings, what did “deafness” mean at that time? An abnormality. Something that needed to be fixed. Remember what the French thought about sign language? It was highly regarded. The perspective that deaf people needed to be fixed tore down that high regard like a sinking ship. Sign language lost its spotlight. A French intellectual, Michel Foucault studied the relationship between power and institutions established in the 18th to 19th century. He concluded that human bodies became the site of a battlefield. Authorities claim the mind and body. Remember the Wild Boy? He was taken and studied and worked on by Itard, without his consent. Itard controlled him. Do you remember your speech therapy experience as you grew up? They grabbed and moved your face. Did they ask for your permission to do so? No. Do you remember your parents or teachers sending you to an etiologist to do work on your ears? They put things in your ears moving your head around. That particular act is called “normalizing judgment”.
    [A picture of Michel Foucault - a totally bald man with wire-rimmed glasses. Caption: The establishment of Medico-Pedagogy…. The marriage of Medicine and Education: Deaf Education]
    The goal of normalizing judgment is, for example…. If the person is not doing as the controller says, then they are disciplined, given consequence until…. They are finally under control of the controller. This method was brought into many teaching colleges, intended to be instilled into potential teachers. It soon became standard practice. The image of doctors with white coats and stethoscopes became a powerful ideological symbol. They became so powerful, almost to the equivalent of God. One wouldn’t dare challenge or question them.
    [Caption: Apotheosis of Medical Personage: Doctors + Father, God]
    The point is this: the marriage of medico-pedagogy (medicine and education)… locked the very defienation of “deaf:. People came to see deafness as an abnormality that needed to be fixed. The mentality was established in institutes all over: authoritative figures broadcasted their view of “deaf”. This view even contradicted the view deaf people held of themselves. Deaf people were gathering, socializing and feeling fine. They tried to speak out against this definition. Yet…their voice in society is very small, and without institutions strong enough to represent them, are easily oppressed.
    [Caption: Institutions Locked the Meaning of “D-E-A-F“]
    Back to Itard. As his death was slowly approaching… after he had distributed his studies about audiology, speech, and deafness… in his journal (which had not been distributed) he had written… what he thought, “After years and years of study, sign language has proven to be extremely valuable…. If we had used sign language, it would have been faster to develop the written language…faster than the transfer of spoken language to written language.” Sign language is visual, just like the written language is visual. Makes sense. It’d be faster. Spoken language is not visual, therefore it took thousands of years to convert it to writing. He believed that sign language would be the fastest way to develop a written language.
    [Caption: “With this accomplishment, man could have embarked just as rapidly on the vast career that this discovery (sign language) opened to his intelligence.” Jean-Marc Gaspard Itard 1821 Traite pp. 325-326. 1842 ed.]
    [The woman and the man in the hat are kissing passionately and the door slowly closed on them and then reopened. They moved inside the house? ]
    Too late. The word “deaf: already had countless negative definitions broadcasted in public consciousness. The notion that Deaf people need to be fixed, the institutional view…. And the development of cochlear implants have impacted the entire world. Is this it? Before he died, Itard wrote that sign language is a true human language. Is it really too late?
    [Captions of the timeline in related to Deaf events like laws on Deaf Education passed, Deaf school enrollments declined by thousands since 1975, Cochlear implants approved for adults in 1984, Deaf President Now protest rally in 1988, numbers of students taking ASL classes increased 432.2% from 1998 to 2002]
    [A listing of foreign languages - Spanish is first and French is second then German comes in third and ASL is the fourth popular language. Other languages are listed after ASL. The 432.2 is high lightened clearly.]
    432 percent. That’s a lot. Amongst community colleges from all over the US, ASL is the second most popular language course taken. Amongst universities, ASL is the fourth most popular language course. The French used to hold sign language in high regard, but that view plummeted. It eventually went back up again. Will it plummet again, or keep skyrocketing? I think we need to do something about this. How can we change this representation? Let’s meet Stuart Hall.
     
  11. Buffalo

    Buffalo Active Member

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    [A film roll of Stuart Hall. He has a full graying beard. Caption: Stuart Hall - Representation and the Media Renowned Cultural Media Studies Theorist]
    I watched Stuart Hall’s film. It was extremely powerful. Because of his explanation, I now understand how visual images have transformed American Culture. I wanted to see how we could use this information to the view of deaf people, deafness, and sign language. He discussed visual media and how it deeply controlled the common view of black people - and thus, ideology. I noticed that these issues paralleled those of deaf people, and that they could be addressed the….the same way.
    [a TV movie “Children of a Lesser God” (1986) running… William Hurt: “I‘ve got lots of energy.” Older man: “I‘m sure you do have a lot of energy and lots of new ideas. I did, too, when…but nobody‘s trying to change the world around here. Just trying to help a few deaf kids get along better, that‘s all. Everything else is razzle-dazzle. Am I, uh…Am I making myself clear?”]
    [Another movie “Johnny Belinda“ (1948) running….Visitor: “Was she born deaf?“ Father: “No. She took sick when she was about a year old. Come time to talk, no sound came out. She growed up that way. Dumb.”]
    [Back to “Children of a Lesser God“… William Hurt talking to a deaf student - no ASL: “Would you mind closing your notebook? Thank you.” William Hurt to the class in voice and ASL: “Now, Give me one good reason why we should learn to speak?” Wise guy: “To pick up hearing girls.”]
    [“Johnny Belinda“…. The visitor was demonstrating the violin playing to the deaf girl. When the girl was too close to him, he grabbed her to kiss her hard. Visitor: “The first time a man kissed you, Isn‘t it?” The man kissed her again! The girl struggled and got away. The man caught up with her and grabbed her. Visitor: “You‘re scared, dummy. Your heart‘s pounding. I caught a seagull once. She had the same scared look.” The man let go of her but then walked toward her.]
    Take notice of these scenes. Deaf characters have been in films for quite some time. Dr. John Schuchman, a former professor of Gallaudet University and a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), … published a book titled, “Hollywood Speaks.” He analyzed over 150 films. He noticed that not all the deaf characters were played by deaf actors, some were played by hearing actors, as well. The common characteristics often associated with a deaf character in a film are:
    [Caption listing: Dumb, Infirm, Expert lip reader, Beggar, Isolated, Illiterate, Naïve]
    That is where Stuart Hall’s discussion of media and representation becomes useful. Next I want to analyze this word. “representation.”
    [Caption: “Old View: Representation as Accurate/Distorted“]
    The old view of the definition of “representation” is “reflection/distortion of reality.” Can you represent an entire group of people? Take one person, have them act in place of an entire group…and give way to mass belief that this is reality of that group? That creates a stereotype. That, of course, doesn’t work. Let’s take black people, for instance. Suppose a white actor is put in blackface….and told to “act black.” He replaces a black person. And is made to represent black people. The same has happened with the deaf. A hearing person will act as a deaf person, being able to sign, but with uncanny speaking abilities. They’d act in representation of deaf people. That, in essence, is a distortion of reality.
    [Caption: Representation is the way in which meaning is given to the things depicted.]
    [Caption: “New View: Representation as Creative and Active Representations as Constitutive“]
    The new view of “representation”: creative, active, and constitutive. Someone may ask you, “Act black. Act feminine. Act Deaf.” Do you know what to do then? You visualize something you may have seen on television, or a passing friend. And copy their actions. Do you have a vividly clear idea of what it means to be any of those things? Probably not. You literally have the power to establish an idea, to lock an image. You intend to create something, a vision. Take deafness, for example. You could erase those negative definitions…by creating and asking someone to represent these new definitions of “deaf.” This is an example of constitutive thinking.
    [Caption: Representation as Constitutive: Having power to establish or enact.]
    [The woman and the man are still at it. The hat was dropped to the floor. He peeled off the woman‘s leather jacket. Woman‘s shoes were dropped off as they moved over to the bed. ]
    [Caption: “Do events in the world have one essential, fixed or true meaning? Against which distortion can be measured?]
    Now you understand the politics of image and the process of creating representations. Now I ask you this: How do you come to understand and interpret the meaning of the world? How do you and others come to a common understanding of the world? This is called a Shared Conceptual Map of the world.
    [Caption: Shared Conceptual Map: Sharing the “maps of meaning“ and “frameworks of intelligibility“]
    A Shared Conceptual Map of the world. How does this work? You were born, got a name, identity, values, culture, religion, and countless others. Your parents’ influence, schooling, and other social values were instilled into you as you grew up. The same happened to others. They have their world of information. When two people come together. They exchange their information. Even arguing about whether something was right or wrong is still sharing their values. As others come together, they exchange information….pass it along to others, and so on. All of these shared values, identities, information, etc., make up a group’s culture, a system of representation. Your entire understanding of the world is based on this informational exchange, through the use of language. Now I ask you this: What exactly is Deaf culture?
    [Caption: “Culture is a system of representation“ “The capacity to classify is a basic genetic feature of human beings.” “The particular system of classification used in a society is learnt.”]
    Now, the system of representation is culture. One has a natural internal need to classify things in order to understand the world better. One learns certain meanings, creates interpretations and applied these to the classifications they’ve formed. Now, in order to find commonalities and share our interpretations with others….one must clearly have access to mass media such as radio, television, and newspapers. Suppose one distributes an incorrect representation of misinformation. What happens? A stereotype. This happens in many places.
    [Caption: “It‘s why the issue of power can never be bracketed out from the question of representation.”]
    [Caption: Identity, Identification, and the Viewer]
    The relationship between identity and identification…roughly put, is the same as the relationship between yourself and the television screen. Suppose you see on TV a sexy woman, clad in a bikini, or even a sexy dress…holding a perfume. It turns out to be a perfume ad. This film is actually about the perfume, not the woman. You connect the image of the woman with the perfume. You want to e perfume because you think it’ll make you hot. You, the viewer, identify with the woman, so you buy the product.
    [The woman and the man are sitting up on the bed. The woman started to remove her t-shirt.]
    [Caption: “Ads only work when we IDENTIFY with what is represented in the images.”]
    [The man looking into the camera. Caption: ”Meaning is interpretation.”]
    [The woman removed her t-shirt. Caption: “Images have no fixed meaning.”]
    Now, you understand that meanings cannot be frozen. They are changeable. Just like the word “earth”. Meanings change over time. Ideology, and power -- Ideology, I’ve already explained to you --- as for power, well…power is like -- NBC, CNN, ABC, The Washington Post, USA Today newspaper, et cetera. Once you connect ideology and power, you usually get frozen meanings, recycled meanings. So, naturally you feel that to change meaning is hopeless. This meaning that you learn becomes a part of common sense.
    For instance, the Iraq War. Are you in Iraq? No, you’re here. Therefore the only information you get about the war is in the television and newspapers. That is the limit of the information you can get from --- the mainstream distribution. Have you gone to Iraq and asked for their interpretation of the war? So you feel stuck with this standard, limited information. You feel like you can’t change it or do anything about it. Remember this: meanings are never frozen. When ideology and power are mixed, the message they send out is that you cannot change the meaning. The truth is, you really can change meaning. You have the power to change meaning.
    [Caption: “Power and Ideology attempts to fix the meaning of images and language.”]
    Now I ask you this: when you think of the word “deaf”, are your definitions of “deaf” considered common sense.? Not really. On television, you’ll see a deaf character pop up now and then… and then you’ll start to formulate common traits from those, as we’ve previously discussed. Suppose we were to challenge those representations and create our own definition for the word “deaf”. Redefine what signing means, and challenge them by putting in new, different images. Positive images as well. We’d be able to provide a diversity of meanings. The stereotypical view would be broken. They’d see for once that there was a wide variety of choices.
    [“Diversity opens up new possibilities of identity.”]
    However, Stuart Hall stated that after long periods of distributing misrepresentations. …it would soon become normal, become common sense. Meaning that the misrepresentation, i.e. the view of black people, would soon slip into the subconscious. When the time comes for you to posit positive images of black people….the misrepresentation would still reside in your subconscious. What should you do about it?
    [Caption: Contesting Stereotypes: Taking Images Apart]
    [Caption: “Closure in representation naturalizes the meaning of images it hides the process of representation“]
    When a particular meaning is broadcast for a while, then it becomes common sense, … closed, and resides in your subconscious. Life goes on as normal. However, we must go back to the misrepresentation residing in their subconscious…. And reveal the distortion of the images. People might be rattle or accept this new reality. However, the problem with this is, by unlocking the meaning. It’s open for interpretation. Would everyone interpret it the same way? It’s a risk you’re taking. People may interpret it to something else other than you intended it to be. It’s exciting, but still a risk. What could you do about it?
    [Caption: ”Opening up the practice of representation poses questions: Where do images come from? Who produces images? How is meaning closed down in representation? Who is silenced in the production of images?”]
    [Caption: “Interrogating stereotypes makes them UNINHABITABLE - it destroys their naturalness and normality.”]
    What would you do about this? You might want to push it further, and make it work. Remember identity claim? The connection between the identity and the image? What’s the one thing that can truly awaken our humanity at the deepest level?
    [Many images of the woman and the man in the hat and others.]
    [Caption: Fetishism]
    Now you picture Fetishism. Hmmm…Stuart Hall presented this term. This word has a wide variety of meanings. It could mean attraction, respect, admiration, or a role model for one to follow. It could be as simple as someone wearing certain clothes and you feeling, “That’s the kind of clothes I want.” Feeling like, “That would make me look good.” “Good.” You must have some idea what that means to you. That ‘s a signified term. What does it mean? You have your own definition, but there is a common understanding what “good“ means in western culture. Stuart Hall also pointed out, regardless of what it is…that sexual images and sexuality are so entrenched in our culture….so contaminated with stereotypes…..that rather than trying to run and hide from it, we might as well face it. We all have that internal lust for wanting to be in another person’s shoes, We all have that. The deepest level inside ourselves, the desire, the need for respect, and the wants. You might as well use it.
    [The woman and the man are in the bed - more kissing.]
    [Caption: What is at stake in representation? New Knowledge New Identities New Meanings]
    Back to the very first question. What comes to mind when you think of the word “deaf”? There are many negative words there. Want to erase them and rewrite new ones? I know. Me, too. For a long time, the signing community has observed that sign language has cinematic value. It’s just like watching a movie. Something in the way we tell stories in sign, is just the equivalent of watching a film. What should we do about it? I’ve wondered about Hollywood. They’ve been lacking something that we have to offer. That means we could lead them. We who sign are natural filmmakers. It’s built in our minds and abilities. This, of course, hasn’t been researched and proven yet. It’s something that should be pursued. It’s something we should experiment with. Bear in mind, sign language is a multi-million dollar industry, It’s hot now. We need to capitalize on it, make a profit form this. At the same time, you could easily find film equipment or other technological devices for cheap. You could take advantage of the internet and build a media empire from it. The possibilities are infinite. It’s a really exciting time now. But the widow of opportunity is slowly closing. Remember the French used to hold sign language in high regard? It plummeted, but eventually went back up. If we sit idly by and do nothing, would sign language continue to skyrocket or plummet again? I think the answer is clear. It is up to us to take advantage of this opportunity and take sign language to the next level. Again, this is a public proposal to establish media center….to redefine ideology and change representation through media.
    [Back to that couple in the bedroom.]
    [Caption: To Sign is Human]
    [This film is dedicated to Facundo Montenegro - December 12, 2005 - a picture of the man and he looked like that man in the hat.]
    [More credits rolling by.]
     
  12. Sosie

    Sosie Well-Known Member

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  13. MoonDrifter

    MoonDrifter New Member

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    I thought the presentation was awesome. In the future I plan to take sign language a step further. That's one of my life goals.
     
  14. dreama

    dreama New Member

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    Thanks Buffalo for taking such trouble to transcribe this for me. I found this film really interesting. It's really good of you to take such trouble on my account.

    (Gives Buffalo a big hug of gratitude)
     
  15. Buffalo

    Buffalo Active Member

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    Anytime, Dreama. Anything this good, I believe that you and other deaf blind people need to read about this.

    I had time to think about this. This film is really good and provide alot of food for thought. I was not surprised about people looking up to the sign language because it was explained in Harlan Lane's book "When the Mind Hears". What surprised me is Itard's journal. I really wish that Itard's positive opinion was published in his time. He said that he think that the writing language would have developed much sooner with sign language. I doubt that because we have sign language for long time but no writing language of our own. (I think SignWriting was invented by a hearing person - I could be wrong.)

    This film sort of gives me a sliver of hope. I hope that things will swing back into our favor but with CI and the parents' attitudes, I am not so sure. It would be nice if more deaf people are involved in film media.
     
  16. Buffalo

    Buffalo Active Member

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    Just found that this guy was from Argentina and he died of lung cancer.
     
  17. Buffalo

    Buffalo Active Member

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    Just got the reply from Ryan Commerson and he said he will figure out how to put the transcript on his website. I told him about the transcript here that he can use.

    I hope more of deaf people would realize it and put up transcripts for DBs.
     
  18. dreama

    dreama New Member

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    Me too. I've mentioned this film and the transcipt to an email magazine for deaf and deafblind people. It's called Clerc scar. Of interest to those in favor of sign language.

    Yes, it would be good for the message to get out there. I'm writing a fantasy novel 'A deafblind girl'. The two main characters have CI, but there is a lot in it about the fallasies of the oral only aproach. There is a village where everyone signs.
    Running parallel is the dragon's desire to make all humans airborne because they think of our inability to fly as 'a devistating condition'.
     
  19. Grummer

    Grummer Active Member

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    Great!
     
  20. CJB

    CJB New Member

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    Wow, thanks so much for going through the trouble of transcribing this video, Buffalo. I really appreciate it! :ty::ty:

    This film was definitely very interesting! I like how it ties into linguistics and explains how the meaning of words change overtime. I also found it interesting how blackface was used as an analogy to hearing actors act Deaf in movies. It really made me think because I had never thought before about what it entails to have a hearing actor act deaf.
     

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