A Silent Language… Beginning in November 2022, Sawidji was invited to enter a mentoring program with Sanggar Sushrusa. Consisting of several students of Sushrusa Deaf School who attended photography workshops mentored by ManButur and myself. These students make up the members of Sanggar Sushrusa, keen on developing their talents in creative areas.
This was initiated and sponsored by the Corti Foundation. Throughout our mentorship, the students of Sanggar Sushrusa had the opportunity to exhibit their works at the Dharma Negara Alaya Art Centre. This was for a special occasion to honour the city’s 235th anniversary. Sawidji Gallery was invited to curate a body of work from themes we developed in our photography program with Sanggar Sushrusa.
This exhibition was a truly momentous event. This marks a tremendous milestone. A result of joined efforts of Corti Foundation, headed by Ibu Agung Mirah Maheswari, Sawidji Gallery, and Sanggar Sushrusa towards a true spirit of inclusivity within our community. The merits of which are not to be neglected, but instead cultivated to keep us in this positive direction.
The Art Photography Exhibition at the Dharma Negara Alaya, by the students of Sanggar Sushrusa was opened by the City Mayor of Denpasar, represented by Head of Communications & Information Department on March 3rd 2023. It was attended by representatives of state departments and social organisations, artists, educators and of course friends and family. The exhibition guide and catalogue are records of this wonderful project.
A Silent Language
One of the major roadblocks to true inclusivity for persons with disabilities aside from physical, technological and mental barriers is communication. For those who are hearing impaired the need for communication can be relieved through community awareness. Of the importance of sign language.
The series in black and white presented here are of the alphabet, in the Indonesian sign language system known as BISINDO. The idea to present the sign language alphabet for this exhibition allowed us to shine a light on the power of sign language. And how crucial it is to raise community awareness constructively to support positive transformations towards true inclusivity.
Inclusivity a Definition… the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized.
Inclusion can also be seen as a core value. As a core value, it creates a welcoming environment, embracing differences within our community. Respecting everybody, allowing each individual to bring their entire, authentic selves into the community.
Learning sign language instead of a foreign spoken language?
Most of us are aware many have hearing impairment in our community. Yet, we often see this as something separate from ourselves. Many may choose to learn another language like French or Italian out of curiosity, self-development or to help their careers. Perhaps sign language can be an alternative language to learn. A language we will consider just as readily as French or Italian. Perhaps just out of curiosity or for our self-development. It is a remarkable language, one that engages us on a different level of our psychology. Apart from singular alphabet letters, you physically express through gestures, complex concepts as well as definitions.
The series of works that make up the exhibition are the fruit of our combined efforts. Created by the talented, passionate young creative souls who are part of our community’s future. It is also dedicated to the remarkable language of signs. A language that allows us to connect to each other even through silence.
The black and white prints of the letters of the alphabet in sign language are available for purchase through the Corti Foundation and through Sawidji Gallery. In support of the sponsorship of children and young adults with hearing impairment and inclusive education.
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