To comprehend a lecture in Auslan we needed an interpreter. So we had an artist telling her story and we had an interpreter watching her symbolic hand and arm movements and explaining to us what she was saying.
What the artist was saying was interesting. She did not hold back in telling us the difficulties a young deaf person experiences and what we can do to alleviate it. There are many obstacles that a deaf person has to cope with that a hearing person never considers.
Suffice to say there are real problems that are difficult to overcome. Our speaker explained that the invention of the Auslan language was a revelation to her and she had to fight to learn it and to get other deaf people to learn it. Apparently, it was not fashionable to learn Auslan in its early days.
The basic premise of her lecture was that Auslan should be learnt by everyone. It was interesting to experience listening to a lecture through an interpreter. There was one slightly humorous moment when the sound system mal-functioned and the hearing people were subjected to a loud dose of reverberation coming through the speakers. We had the experience of hearing a loud thudding electrical echo when of course our lecturer was not aware of the problem. This was a perfect example of irony.
Coming up at First Mondays on Monday 5 December 10-11am: "Join artist Jacqui Stockdale for a compelling talk on her exhibition, ‘The Outlaws’ Inn’. Jacqui will share her process, practice, and dive deeper into her interest in the story of Ned Kelly and other dominant narratives of Australian colonial folklore."