Transcript in English:
Paul Maucere (American Sign Language/International Sign Language):
This morning I went for a walk with the group and Daniel, we happened to notice that behind the statue there was a bottle of glass sticking through the statue's hand. We were laughing and thought it was hilarious. We passed it and went on a tour at the Versailles. WOW! The Versailles was fabulous! Afterwards, we walked back and saw the statue again. We thought, why not take a picture and make a laugh out of it? We realized who the statue was, and it's Charles-Michel de l'Épée! He was born here and he used to be a Catholic priest here in Paris. The glass bottle sticking in the statue's hand was signing as "dieu" for "god" was disrespectful to the Deaf community. Daniel got emotional when he saw it and he decided to climb up to get the glass bottle out. We all felt it's an oppression to the deaf community. We would like to honor this statue of de l'Épée to keep it clean and be more respectful forever!
Jon Savage (American Sign Language/International Sign Language):
Hello! You see the video that I shot? It went by quickly. I viewed the video and it inspires me occasionally. I decided to capture the video and turn it into a painting. You think that I captured a single shot for my painting? No I did not. I captured twenty different videos to make it one painting! Did you notice that the people in the video looked different than what they wore in the painting? I did this on purpose. Daniel is wearing the colors of the French flag, Paul is wearing the colors of US flag, the heart on the white bag represents as the basic foundation of personal growth, and lastly the other bag represents academics and education. Using sign language increases the growth in academic and education for deaf students. They can use empowerment through their knowledge and social skills in the Deaf community.
I would like to honor to the institution was the first public school for the deaf in the world, established by the priest Charles-Michel de l'Épée in Paris (Institution Nationale des Sourds-Muets à Paris). Laurent Clerc was one of the students at the school and went to America to work with Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. Clerc's teachings and making him the greatest influence in the establishment of new deaf schools in the States. We are so inspired by Clerc for his influence to the Deaf community. We must realize that Clerc had his education by de l'Épée in Paris. We would like to show the statue of de l'Épée that it does not show an oppression to the Deaf community of sign language. Since we celebrated de l'Épée's 300th birthday, we hope that this artwork will continue to inspire more Deaf children to use sign language. We hope that there will be other paintings to represent each country flag to use their own sign language and make it spread to others.
I used one roll of strings to hold this painting together and it represented as the evolution of old and current sign language. This painting is tied together to symbolize that to move on to the future and learn better communication skills, the past can't be left behind. To understand current signs in Deaf cultural, the history of deaf cultural has to be acknowledged. The one roll of string is an important piece because it connects the older (rear) frame to the new (front) frame to make sign language more appreciated. If there is a loose gap between old and current sign language then oralism will take over Deaf education. Deaf cultural would be fall apart then start all over again! That's why the string must be tied very tight and very well.
People who still use sign language are fortunate to learn from the past. Then sign language will live forever.