Deaf Interiors about Deaf Joy

Here’s no greater power than of the sun, the moon, and the woman who knows her worth.

— poetry by Nicole Llyons 

Deaf Interiors discussed about the concept of Deaf Joy came about during the first Deaf Interiors session where we discussed all negative experiences of being deaf – hearing, phonocentrism, surdophobia, systemic barriers and lack of language. Deafness with negative experiences when in reality being deaf can be a joyful experience. We need to highlight and celebrate the positive experiences of being deaf.

Being a Black person is tough. Being a Deaf person is tough. Being a woman is tough. Combine all of these identities and one would believe that to be a Black Deaf woman means they face three different types of discrimination. 

However, it does not mean being a Black Deaf woman is filled with nothing but hardship. This is what my art focuses on.

My art created at Deaf Interiors about Deaf Joy

examines how beautiful and raw intersectionality can be because there are overlapping identities that bring in various experiences.  Take me for an example. My name is Ebony R. Gooden. It is a massive part of my identity because it means “Black Wood.” It does tell I am a piece of a log. However, even black wood has to begin its life as a seed the way I started as a baby. The source would then grow, which is a parallel to my growth. It would then grow branches. So I, too, begin to experience various things; the positive and the negative. 

It would transform into a tree, growing its roots deep into the ground. I too have found my identity as a Black Deaf woman. There is nothing more powerful than a woman who knows her worth.

To see more of my works at Deaf Interiors about Deaf Joy:

Presented by Creative Users Projects in partnership with Tangled Art + Disability, Deaf Interiors is a Signature Project of the Cultural Hotspot, produced in partnership with the City of Toronto, with support from Bodies in Translation, Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts.

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