One out of ten people in Russia have hearing problems, but it is almost impossible to understand the difficulties that hard-of-hearing people face. After all, unlike people with mobility impairments and blind people, we do not notice deaf people unless they start using sign language.
The coronavirus pandemic made the already complicated life of hard-of-hearing and deaf people even more difficult. The mandatory face mask-wearing hindered their ability to lip-read and made them rely on signs as the only way to get information.
Rapper Face and singer Mariana Ro decided to support the deaf and hard-of-hearing people.
The musicians attended a guided tour of the inclusive museum “In Silence” as part of the special project “Silence Challenges You”.
The museum “In Silence” was opened on September 25, 2020, on the International Day of the Deaf.
The museum’s main goal is to draw attention to the problem of social isolation of the deaf and hard-of-hearing people. The museum hires hard-of-hearing people as guides and organizes free programs for residential schools.
During the tour, Face and Mariana, who dedicated their whole lives to music, spent an hour in a soundless world. They put on soundproof earmuffs, and with the help of the tour guide, found out how people with hearing impairments learn to communicate.
The musicians were introduced to the sign languages of different countries. They learned to communicate without using their voice and sense of hearing and discovered how hard-of-hearing people listen to music.
When they realized how many people in Russia live with hearing impairments but remain invisible to society, it came as quite a shock.
“I hope that our participation in the ‘Silence Challenges You’ project will help to enhance a discussion about the deaf and hard-of-hearing people’s social isolation problem and raise awareness of the issue,” said Face after the tour.
The project was organized with the information support of Afisha Daily.