A theater group came to our session called SPEECHLESS in 2012.We have been doing groundbreaking work for over a decade. Their reactions still echo in time:
OMG OMG OMG!
I can’t live without words. OMG...this is possibly the most frustrated I have been in such a short time. To understand what a human being goes thru not being able to speak or react to sounds and words. Is it torture or perhaps the ultimate release?
Does not having words take away the need to have words? What is communication, really? What if I had chosen not to speak at all? What is so bad about silence? Language is more than just noise, no? It is the repository of our existence….how can we allow people to live without it? It is our responsibility to bring them language or leave it upto them to discover which works best for them? Not being able to understand…how does one cope?
You can’t go to the other side..
The other side can’t come to you..
Meet in the middle then..how far is that from where I stand
And am I willing to walk
Who will lead me there
Stranded in an ocean of noise
The noisemakers revel
Envious, scared, shocked
By the sea of silence ……..
Hina Sid - Theatre artist, Neurodivergent LGBTQ story teller, runs a podcast, wears many hats.
It was frustrating how hard it is to communicate
Understanding the other is a task
Feels like being in solitary confinement with a lot of people around
Makes you hate it that conveying thoughts is so hard …….
Difficult to use sign language [??]
Felt like screaming cos lack of patience
At some point got irritated
While expressing in sign language, felt like speaking
I missed MY VOICE
Communicating small pieces of information was taking way too much time
The hour spent trying to make conversation pretending to be deaf and non verbal was an eye opener as to what those people feel when we get frustrated trying to explain things. It does help improvising one’s expressions. Would probably help me connect more to people – normal or otherwise.
The exercise helped a lot of brainstorming of how I would express a certain thing more effectively. It was awesome
This was a completely different experience, as I had always seen people talk in Sign Language. I had tried doing that quite a few times but not like this, like making an entire conversation with someone and making that person understand what you are saying. There is a certain disconnectedness that I felt because the only way I could talk was with my hands and eyes. This was awesome in its own way ….Mandar
It is actually very hard to imagine how tough it can be to live a life without sound and not be able to hear. IT takes immense patience to get thru this session for even 10 minutes. So one can only imagine the hardships faced by children and adults who have to live with challenge for their entire lives.
I think there is also general ridicule that a person who cannot hear often has to undergo esp in the movies also in general and it is sad. For everyone who makes fun of such people should be made to undergo this exercise to feel the hardship of the physically challenged.
This exercise also I feel can be used in certain situations which in case we may have to use Sign Language to communicate instead of speaking.
So it was an educating experience…Sameer
Even the brief period that I was silent, just the absence of any vocal conversation was discomfiting. Being silent can be great fun, what with the sign language and exaggerated actions – but it is only fun because there’s that part of your brain that knows the sound will always return. Thus, I think there was that relieve I felt when I heard the smallest sounds..the whir of the fan, the shuffling of feet, the clap to draw attention – and I can’t imagine a world of absolute silence. I can’t wrap my head around seeing actions and being unable to attach any sound to them…and I imagine it works the other way around for anyone with hearing impediments. Somehow, that’s a scary thought. This definitely helped me understand it a little better, but I know I can understand it a lot better. Silence has always been an uncomfortable thing for me to deal with and just if just the removal of verbal conversation for a little over 15 minutes made me this pensive, I can only imagine what it would be like without the thousands of other kinds of communication
These were theatre artists, blessed with the ability to emote and communicate stories written by strangers to strangers. But stumped when the power of speech and words was taken away from them.
Come attend our SPEECHLESS sessions to find out what you can do without words!
Thank you Hina Sid for bringing your team over for the session and suggesting that they put down their thoughts at the end