Publicado el

What inclusion has taught me: A life-changing story (Chapter 6)

6: COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES

During 2016 and 2017, we also achieved other goals worth mentioning:

-1-

Cardinal Herrera CEU University undertook research about the use of the five senses in XMILE. Over 200 people were invited to participate as members of the audience in the research screenings, which had been adapted for accessibility.

Image 32: Audience members taking part in the research after watching XMILE.

-2-

The Spanish Organization of the Blind (ONCE) promoted our project in many different ways. For example, ONCE’s choir “Allegro” created and performed a cover version of XMILE’s official song Sonríe.

“Allegro” is a project in which blind and non-blind people together perform music of many different styles.  The event in which they performed was very relevant, too. It was the first screening of a film adapted for accessibility at Kinépolis Valencia, a big modern multiplex.

Image 33: The choir singing Sonríe at Kinépolis Cinemas. By Lorena Peugnet.
-3-

How were we able to play XMILE’s AD and SDH in cinemas?

Whatscine, the biggest accessibility company in Spain, was behind it. Their technology offers AD, SDH and Sign Language applied to any audio-visual content just by installing their free app into a smartphone when going to the movies. Then, each user enters the application and, based on their needs, they can select the desired accessibility.

After a few conversations, they sponsored some of our screenings: With the help of a Sign Language interpreter, they created a Sign Language version for XMILE and allowed us to use their technology when we screened the film.

Image 34: Audience members sync their phones to Whatscine in order to access XMILE’s AD, SDH and SL.
-4-

Internationalization and film festival selections played a big role, too. Likewise, the many conferences, media interviews and panels in which we have taken part, made us expand our project overseas, for example in Mexico.

-5-

I wrote my first book, XMILE: Cinema of Universal Design.

Image 35: Presenting the book XMILE – Cinema of Universal Design.
-6-

Thanks to Fesord CV, the Valencian Community’s Federation of the Deaf, we were able to have a sign interpreter at many of our presentations.

Also, we shot a very special Sign Language version of Sonríe. We wanted a totally deaf person to translate and perform the lyrics, because we did not want to lose any of the details and richness provided by a native speaking Sign Language person.

Image 36: A frame of Sonríe’s inclusive Sign Language video.

Carmen Juan, former president of Fesord CV, was the Sign Language performer in this emotional video, which created a deep connection with the deaf audience.

In addition, we asked some members of the Deaf Community about how we could incorporate other Sign Language activities into the project. They were very kind and told us one of the deaf tricks to listen to music: They use balloons to feel the sound’s vibrations.

Thus, for premiering Sonríe’s Sign Language video, we organized a new event and gave balloons to the audience. It was amazing!

-7-

Finally, I started to learn Sign Language. Given that some of the screenings’ attendants were deaf or deaf-blind, I had to learn Sign Language properly, if I wanted to really connect with them. Many wanted to offer their help and joined the project; and some have even become long-lasting friends.

The XMILE experience was not only a professional milestone for me. This has really turned into a life-changing project.

Image 37: Me communicating in Sign Language with a deaf-blind person.

Due to the knowledge and experience we had acquired, we were ready to move on to the next project, which was…

Image 38: Blues Time’s official poster, by Weaddyou advertising agency.
CHAPTER 7: What if inclusion improved art?
Previous Chapters:
CHAPTER 1
CHAPTER 2
CHAPTER 3
CHAPTER 4
CHAPTER 5