Phénomena has been interested in deaf culture since it was founded in 2012, when we featured a performance by the deaf American poet Peter Cook. In 2019, we presented the Cabaret de performances sourdes / Deaf Performances Cabaret at La Sala Rossa, an ambitious show in four languages that featured 11 deaf artists. And as part of our virtual edition in 2020, we presented three video-poems entirely produced by deaf artists.
In 2021, Phénomena’s artistic director D. Kimm decided to become more involved in the deaf community. She founded a collective bringing together 6 deaf artists and began to study LSQ (Quebec Sign Language). The collective functions as one body and all decisions are made together. The long-term goal is to support artists in their artistic and professional development and to give them more exposure within the hearing community. The collective’s artists already have several creations to their name and are well known in their own community. They are talented, dynamic, ambitious, creative, and brave—and they deserve to be more widely recognized.
It is with great delight and pride that we present the first creation by L’Œil éveillé, a collective representing artists Sylvain Gélinas, Jennifer Manning, Marie-Pierre Petit, Pamela E. Witcher, Theara Yim, and Hodan Youssouf. For deaf audiences, it will be a chance to come together and celebrate these talented artists. For hearing audiences, it will be a rare opportunity to get to know this vibrant and dynamic community.