Deaf Together - A new, Deaf-led gathering for everyone is happening at Chapter, Cardiff

Published on 13/03/2023

DEAF TOGETHER is a Deaf-led gathering at Chapter that’s open to everyone! Part of Hear We Are, a two-year Deaf-led project by Deaf artist, practitioner and access consultant Jonny Cotsen, in collaboration with Chapter who’ve been working with partners to centre the creative voices of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people across Wales.

DEAF TOGETHER brings you three days of events, activity, exhibitions and performance.

People will be able to participate in everything from yoga to comedy, dialogues to Deaf Rave!

This event is by and for Deaf people, but hearing people are also warmly welcomed. The programme is supported by BSL, live captions and simultaneous translation from BSL to English.

On the Thursday night, comedian Gavin Lilley Gavin will deliver his hysterical stories about language, life and culture through the beauty of sign language. Experiences with international encounters, stories about his life as a Deaf person in a hearing world, cultural and linguistic conflicts are all shared onstage through the beauty of sign language bringing that visual element to his hilarious observations and stories.

His performance will be live captioned by Sheryll Holley and voiced over by Adrian Bailey and can be enjoyed by deaf and hearing audiences.

On Friday there will be a Deaf Together Symposium to share conversations about why inclusion matters and what people’s hopes are for the future of Deaf Culture in Wales.

Themes will include BSL (British Sign Language) ACT, Deaf Arts, Tokenism and Welsh Deaf Role Models. On Saturday night, DEAF RAVE will perform in Wales for only the second time - Deaf Rave founder and DJ Troi Lee will be DJing an eclectic mix of music – from Reggae and Drum & Bass to Jungle and everything in between – with a backdrop of mind-boggling visuals from VJ Outlaw.

Founder Troi ‘DJ Chinaman’ Lee began with a vision to give Deaf, hearing and disabled artists and performers a platform to display their love for music. Deaf Rave provides entertainment with music and visual performances to an all-inclusive audience, globally and across the UK.

Their aim is to unite everyone through their love and passion for music, promoting the unique Deaf/disabled identity and teaching everyone about Deaf Culture. But most of all, they want to bring music to the masses! A Deaf Rave means that Deaf people can feel the sound: in their feet, in their bodies, in their ears. They can experience the beat through the waves of vibrations released by the music.

Deaf Rave can be enjoyed by Deaf, Hard of Hearing and hearing people together.

Jonny Cotsen said, ““Access to the Arts in BSL is limited. I feel Deaf people may actively exclude themselves from experiencing any form of discipline and may not even consider a career in the Arts due to lack of availability, experience and lack of awareness of opportunities. I think Deaf artists may be getting more developed, varied and successful than ever BUT they are still vulnerable especially in a post-Covid world. How will the Welsh cultural sector ensure Deaf artists are still placed at the centre in their plans as they redevelop and redesign their futures? We want to be part of this and we want to showcase that we have the potential to be included. DEAF TOGETHER ensures that we have a voice.”Hannah Firth said “At Chapter, we’re so excited to be working with Jonny and an incredible range of Deaf creatives and leaders, to better understand how we can support and engage Deaf artists, audiences and communities. DEAF TOGETHER offers everyone the opportunity to get involved in these conversations, and to showcase the breadth of Deaf talent in Wales. We hope this is just the start of our shared vision to roll the programme out across Wales.”The programme includes films, a DEAF TOGETHER special Chapter MovieMaker screening shorts from Deaf filmmakers and films that have Deaf themes and content, market stalls, exhibitions, a brunch, workshops, book club, sign yoga and more, with plenty of time for socialising."

For more information please follow @HearWeAre on socials

For the full schedule and to book -