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Deaf West is partnering with artists Christine Sun Kim and Ravi Vasavan of deafpower.me to create limited edition enamel pins inspired by Deaf culture. The collaboration celebrates more than 30 years of Deaf West bringing accessibility to the arts by creating work that bridges the gap between Deaf and hearing audiences and celebrating the diverse Deaf identities that make up our community. 

Both Deaf West and deafpower.me aim to promote the history, languages, and values of Deaf communities all over the world and spread our cultural pride.

This campaign focuses on increasing employment and training opportunities for the Deaf community, and empowering Deaf youth by creating and supporting initiatives that remove barriers to the entertainment industry at every level of creation. This means:

  • Employing Deaf creatives

  • Providing education for Deaf youth

  • Telling authentic stories

  • Fighting for representation

 

By doing this, we are igniting change for 1.3 billion disabled people around the world.

All proceeds will go directly to Deaf West so that we can continue the important work of new play development, multimedia productions, workshops, professional training, educational programs, and community outreach, with constantly expanding efforts in diversity, innovation, accessibility, and advocacy. 

Artist Pins

Limited Edition

Product photography by David Benthal

About the Designs

This new variation on Deaf West's iconic hand-drawn logo which has been the symbol of the company since its inception more than 30 years ago represents the sleek professionalism and the gold standard of accessible entertainment audiences have come to expect from us. 

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The <0/ symbol is based on the written form of Deaf Power, which is signed with an open palm over an ear and with other hand forming a closed fist in the air. The earliest use of the symbol was amongst Deaf Americans, written to iconify the signed version.

This illustration of a TTY is a special device that allowed people in the pre-internet era to use the telephone to communicate by allowing them to type messages back and forth to one another. The button is representative of the advancements and achievements in technology that characterize the communication modes we have adopted over the years.

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This phrase is not signed, but mouthed silently to others. When Deaf people peep something and do not want to draw attention to themselves, they will mouth “look look”. This design also recalls the acute awareness Deaf people have of the periphery of their vision. out of the corner of their eyes. 

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This unique take on the ASL sign for “I love you” is an iteration of the universally recognized sign. The sign for “I love you” is a combination of the finger spelled letters I, L and Y.

About the Artists

Christine Sun Kim

Christine Sun Kim is an American sound artist based in Berlin, Germany. Kim was born Deaf, which led her to focus her artistic career on exploring the materiality of sound through various mediums such as visual art, composition, performance, and more. Her work dives into the sensory-rich process of connecting sound to drawing, painting, etc, as she was taught to believe that sound wasn’t a part of her life. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and her body of work proves that. 

Christine Sun Kim uses the medium of sound in performance and drawing to investigate her relationship with spoken languages and her aural environment.  What Kim has done is essentially created her own language. One that incorporates elements of body language, American Sign Language (ASL), musical notation, and more. Her works explore how sound operates in society, and how to make audible noise perceivable both visually and conceptually.

  • Instagram

Ravi Vasavan

Ravi Vasavan is an artist and designer. Creating beautiful, unique and impactful art, brand and digital experiences for the new era.

Born deaf to Deaf parents, Ravi grew up in Australia immersed in Deaf community, which has influenced his perspective and worldview. He knew two sign languages before English. You could say that Auslan (Australian Sign Language) is his ‘mother tongue’ — or perhaps ‘fingers’? (Semantics.)

Being visually oriented by nature, he was attracted to art and design early on, which led to his current career and practice. In his work, he is able to bring a Deaf perspective, particularly when it comes to (often hearing-oriented) accessibility, inclusivity and strategic thinking in art and design.