International Visual Theatre (IVT): amongst Deaf identity repair processes and emancipatory impulse

Año: 2023
Editorial: Diffractions, 7, 131-151
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Comunidad y cultura sorda, Historia, Arte y Cultura


The IVT was created in Paris in 1977 by a North American Deaf actor, Alfredo Corrado, and Jean Grémion, a French theater director. The then hegemonic biomedical paradigm of deafness presented it as a malfunction and deaf people as subjects to be repaired. The idea that sign language could be a medium of artistic creation was unthinkable, including for Deaf people. We will start with analyzing the first two creations of the IVT: [ ] (1978) and ][ (1979). These enigmatic titles delimit a territory where the community could express, in the case of the first creation, and an external openness, in the case of the creation. Revealing how self-repair and the relation to others are put at work, these titles invite us to discover what emptiness causes in terms of aesthetic and political challenges. The project of the IVT resulted as an outlet from "hurt identities" (Pollak 1984), a place where one could heal not from a malfunction, but from the damages caused amongst the Deaf by the impulse to repair them. Finally, we will show the leading role of IVT in the emancipatory impetus that will drive the French Deaf political combats in the following decades.