“HandStimmeHerz” is this year’s project by Shut Up and Sign*Speak. For this, the group brought BIPOC, deaf*, FLINTA, and queer artists together to develop primarily autobiographical performances over the course of multiple workshops. The programme that has been created from this is a mixture of sign language performance, storytelling, visual vernacular*, spoken word and new, creative flirts between sign language and spoken language. The performance deal with the living realities of deaf people, experiences of racism, toxic masculinity, parenthood and much more - a mixture of the touching, the serious, and the funny. The works were presented on 17 and 18 June 2022 at Festsaal Kreuzberg.
The film profile now being presented as part of No Limits shows excerpts of these very successful evenings and provides insight into the political and artistic work of the group Shut Up and Sign*Speak and also uses additional materials. Afterward, an artist talk with the protagonists will be held where the audience can also take part.
The work of Shut Up and Sign*Speak is primarily characterised by the fact that their projects are developed and realised jointly by deaf and hearing persons. In the 12 years since the founding of the group, the focus of the content has shifted: away from the simple sign language translation of the stage text of hearing artists to more long-term and equal collaborations between deaf and hearing persons. This process is increasingly accompanied by awareness work, cultural exchange and the reflection upon queer identity.
For this project, HAU Hebbel am Ufer has worked with Shut Up and Sign*Speak for the second time, following a cooperation as part of the #TakeHeart residency funding.
*Visual Vernacular comes from ASL (American Sign Language) and designates an art form of physical expression applied from theatre where stories are told by the use of intensive body movement, iconic symbols, gestures and facial expression. It contains elements of poetry and pantomime, but is, however, an independent and unique style for presenting the overall visual complexity of the world.