13 April 2021
In my piece, “A New Perspective”, I was responding to Ayisha Knight’s slam poetry Until. Which is a piece about reclaiming one’s deafness from the way society puts those of differences in a box. My piece shows the process of hearing the words of hate thrown at you to nothing at all. Words like what Ayisha talked about in her poetry “not deaf enough”, “not straight enough”, and the ever ominous “I SEE YOU”. The flowers behind the girl are covered in black paint like the venom that gets spilled from the mouth of those that think differences are bad. The words and flowers flow around and through her ears to show that even if they can’t hear the words, the hate is still apparent. The feeling of hate is ever present around those that are not “normal” whatever that word even means. Then on the other side we see that of static waves, the symbol of no noise. The noise of nothing, and the sound of silence. The flowers on this side are as bright and beautiful as seeing the other side of hate. The colors were choosen to be like that of a rainbow to show that love is love, and that being deaf gives you another way of viewing life. It gives a new perspective.
Going into this process I really wanted to do something surrounding that of the deaf community because I was a part of it, and may be in the future, so I understood the hate that can flow from people’s mouths. I wanted to gather the sadness and the hurt on the darker side that I had in me due to the loss of understanding that losing my hearing even for a couple months gave me. I saw people I respected and trust turn their backs on me just because I was different. Though I also wanted to showcase the new perspective that experience gave me. The bright colors were the friends that stayed by my side and helped me through the hard time. My friends were like the rainbow flowers, they helped me feel normal and helped me see that everything had changed but it could be so much better if I only looked at it from the right perspective. They helped me to gain a new perspective.
Seeing the conviction in Ayisha Knight’s movements in her piece is what caught my eye the first time we watched her piece. This caused her video to be the only thing on my mind when I figured out I wanted to do a piece about deafness for this project. Watching it a second and third time made it no less amazing to watch. My roommate even after seeing only a second or two of the video said to me that her emotions were so clearly seen. She showed so much emotion and gave so much of herself into the piece that I knew I needed to do this project justice, and I hope I did.
Pledge: Karlie Jahn