Hidden Histories: Deaf Lives Ireland
Citation:Conama, John Bosco, Hidden Histories: Deaf Lives Ireland, Dublin, Interesource Ltd, 2012
Hidden Histories Ireland.pdf (Main catalogue booklet) 5.505Mb
This important project represents the first structured opportunity to train Deaf community members as community archivists in the Republic of Ireland. It has successfully brought together a mixed group of Irish Deaf men and women from across the Republic and introduced them to the world of empirical data collection, the world of oral histories, research ethics, digital data collection, with all its associated challenges relating to editing, transcribing and storage of signed language footage. Beyond the practical skills acquired, the project has facilitated the development of awareness of the particularities of the Deaf lived experience and the importance that this has for the community at large. Thus, this archive, while a first step into the development of Deaf community archives proper, has captured a set of data that adds to the cultural capital of the Irish Deaf Community. The data also now functions as an artefact of what it is to be a Deaf person in 20th century and early 21st century Ireland. Twenty-first century Deaf communities are responding to external forces that genetic threaten to fragment their cultural and linguistic fabric. Genetic engineering, medical interventions and educational policies all seem to work against a community that has long suffered oppression and only recently seen formal (if not legal) recognition of their language. Further, because of these societal pressures, the Deaf community demographic is shifting – fewer deaf children today meet other deaf children than at any other point in time since the introduction of deaf education in Ireland in the early 1800s. This makes the Hidden Histories archive an even more valuable cultural asset in the longer term.
Author: Conama, John
Type of material:Exhibition
Availability:Full text available