May 28, 2012
A group of entrepreneurial filmmakers recently hosted an event that catered for hearing-impaired and deaf youth in the hope of raising awareness of deafness.
The not-for-profit event, titled Deaf-i-ni-tion, created an environment for both hearing and non-hearing young adults by providing an all-sensory experience unique to Perth.
Director Ailee Taggart said she came up with the idea when planning a documentary about deaf 19-year-old Leeanne Pickering.
“Originally, we wanted to focus on what it’s like to be deaf, and through Leeanne we found out about [nightclub] events for deaf people, and after a lot of research, we were inspired to do something similar since there’s nothing like that here in Perth,” Ms Pickering said.
The event – called Deaf-i-ni-tion – was held at Tiger Lil’s on May 22.
In addition to the usual disc jockeys, the event featured ‘aroma jockeys’ and ‘visual jockeys’, and it was all filmed as part of the documentary.
“We’re expecting to make contact with and reach out to the deaf community in Perth, targeting an age group between 18 to 30 year olds,” Ms Pickering said.
“We’re starting small and eventually [the event] might grow to a larger scale.
“I think if people enjoy themselves and like it, it could maybe become something they look forward to and tell other people about.”
Ms Pickering said Deaf-i-ni-tion was a great idea because not many deaf teenagers got to experience music and dance.
She said that, hopefully, people who could hear might respect and accept deafness, and understand hearing-impaired people better.
“I hope that the documentary will have a message from people who have positive opinions about this event,” Ms Pickering said.
Deaf-i-ni-tion was inspired and modeled on touring event SenCity that originated in the Netherlands but was now widespread across the globe.
That event’s organiser Ronald Ligtenberg said SenCity aimed to show people that if they took on something way bigger than they thought they could achieve themselves they would become aware of their own talents.
Initially the Deaf-i-ni-tion production crew had planned to organise the event through SenCity but, despite willingness from both parties, time was the main obstacle.
Photos: Vianka Xu