Contributed by Elena Carrión Guerrero (Senior Lecturer, Spanish, Department of Romance Studies, CAS, at the Boston University).
1 – Introduction
«In my spring class, LS 306 Spanish through Translation, I was fortunate to receive a grant from the Hub Course Enhancement fund to invite Miguel Ángel Font Bisier, the Spanish filmmaker, screenwriter, and researcher, to speak with my students about accessibility and inclusivity in film-making.
The conversation, entirely conducted in Spanish between my students and our speaker, was extremely inspiring. Miguel Ángel initiated his presentation, engaging the students from the very beginning, by asking them why there was still so much to work on to achieve inclusion in our society. He then presented the different models we live in (traditional, hybrid, or inclusive) drawing on different examples not just pertaining to the cultural world, but also to the fields that students are majoring in.
We want to share with you our first inclusive short-film: Blues Time.
This version of the film features English SDH subtitles.
These subtitles are designed, mainly, for deaf or hard-of-hearing viewers. They offer any audible information relevant for the understanding of the plot. SDH are displayed in various places on the screen. Dialogues are highlighted in different colors.
Today we are here to share with you all our new sign language project: the tale La dama del cuadro (The lady in the painting).
This story is available in the book Un confinamiento de cuentos (Stories of a lockdown), an anthology written over the three months of the lockdown imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the occasion of the International Day of Sign Languages, we decided to publish a really special idea we had about La dama del cuadro, which you may know discover all about in this article.
From the moment we started to do some research and work on our inclusive projects, sign language has always played a special role.
Today many people still believe that sign language is an accessibility tool, as are subtitling and audio description. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sign language has its own cultural identity and heritage. Sign language is history, it is a feeling. It honours the past of so many people that have protected it, over the centuries, enriching it while building a present and a future for the community.
The book is an anthology of short stories written over the first three months of the Spanish COVID-19 lockdown (March – May 2020). Combining fantasy and matters of the daily life, in a fresh and humorous style, the author reflects on the COVID-19 pandemic from different angles: love, friendship, the fear of loneliness, the arts, the grief…
According to the author, a story is:
a miniature in text form that, I have discovered, works best when the audience takes part. When they use their own voice, like a good meal feels incomplete without the following conversation.
One might even say that a story is much more than a literary work. It is an exercise of communication, dialogue and constant learning. For that reason, when the Spanish Government declared the state of alarm on March 14, I thought about the value of stories and tales, as they can be a balm to the loss of freedom.
COVID-19 has made an impact on each and every one of the pillars upon which the welfare state was built.
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