Born in Somalia, Hodan Youssouf has been deaf since childhood. After arriving in France as a refugee with her brothers and sisters, Youssouf immigrated to Canada in 1989. Today, she is an active member of Montréal’s deaf community and has worked as an in-class aide to deaf students at École Gadbois since 2010. She also collaborates with Cinéall, an organization that strives to find innovative communications solutions between the deaf and hearing communities.
Youssouf is a socially engaged poet and actress and has participated in a multitude of projects over the years, both in hearing and deaf circles, in Quebec and abroad. Passionate about theatre, her theatrical experience is extensive. She has participated in an American Sign Language adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in Toronto; in La Traversée, a bilingual LSQ/French play by Voyageurs Immobiles Cie.; and in The Tempest at the Citadel Theater in Edmonton.
Youssouf has helped train performers for the signed musical, The Black Drum, produced by the Deaf Culture Centre in collaboration with Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre Company, and was selected to join a series of improv workshops for deaf artists from across Canada, under the direction of Inside out Theater and Deaf Spectrum.
Youssouf also does research on deaf music, and portrayed Aphrodite in the music video “La Part du Diable”, by Bernard Adamus.
English translation: Hodan Youssouf