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Accepted Paper:

Blind encounters and deaf conversations in Shanghainese parks  
Juan Ortega Quesada (East China Normal University)

Paper short abstract:

Shanghainese deaf and blind people, their embodiments and socialities, are bound to invisibility. This clip takes us to real encounters with blind and deaf people in parks around the city. It allows us to imagine the spaces that we (should) share and the relationships that we (could) foster.

Paper long abstract:

In China, people with disabilities are absent from the urban landscape. As part of my work with blind and deaf persons in Shanghai, I experienced difficulty having encounters with them in public spaces. Elder deaf and blind people, their particular embodiments and socialities, are bound to the interstitial. That is the privacy of their homes or public spaces but apart from the rest. They, of course, relate with many other beings and materialities but their sensory predicaments restrict them to particular corners of the urban universe. This sound clip is a window to my research project based on over a year of ethnographic work with blind and deaf groups and their encounters in several parks in Shanghai, China. To challenge invisibility, sound invites us to imagine. Sound brings us together with the song of the blind and the utterances of the deaf. Sound bridges our apparent separation. Pondering through the sound of their presence in places where they supposedly do not exist, we may rethink how we care about them. And we could also challenge the notion of absence to ask who is absent from these possible encounters. (The submitter owns full rights to the work)

Technical description:

Sound clip, 05:58, LIBMP3LAME, 2 CH. 44100 HZ, 128 kbps

Panel P122b
Sound Programme: The Sounds that Bring us Together
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -