Get-hooked March 24, 2021
A new jewellery collection highlights how beautiful being deaf is
Its National Deaf History Month in the United States and artist, activist and actor Chella Man is collaborating with New York-based genderless streetwear brand Private Policy to turn his artwork into ear jewellery designs that highlight the beauty of being deaf.
This year the National Deaf History Month in the United States is marked by an unusual collaboration that aims to raise awareness for the deaf and hard of hearing communities and celebrate wearing hearing aids and implants.
Called The Beauty of Being Deaf, it brings together celebrated artist, actor and activist Chella Man with New York-based streetwear brand Private Policy.
The collection offers eight gold-plated ear cuffs priced between US$330-620 that sit comfortably and move flexibly around the ear and are meant to highlight hearing devices be they hearing aids or cochlear implants. Each piece features Man’s paintings that amplify the implants in the ears in an artistic way.
Celebrating National Deaf History Month
The collection was launched as part of the National Deaf History Month which is celebrated across the United States from 13 March to 15 April. 50% of the profits will go towards the non-profit Deaf Queer Resource Centre, As a trans person himself, Man wants to support a cause that he feels strongly about.
“The hope is for individuals within the deaf and hard of hearing communities to celebrate their own unique beauty and not be identified by a device they wear,” said Chella Man in a statement. “With this jewellery collection, we also designed for friends of our communities in mind, as we hope they will also love the pieces and wear them with pride and show solidarity.”
Emotional campaign video
The Beauty of Being Deaf also comes with an emotional three-minute campaign video made by Man. The film celebrates all the good things about being deaf and was filmed underwater with a full BIPOC (black, Indigenous and people of color) deaf community cast. Apart from Man, the cast includes Raven Sutton (She/Her), a Deaf dancer and American Sign Language performer, and Rayly Aquino, a deaf model, actor, dancer, and writer.
In the clip, they sign to each other underwater while wearing the ear cuffs.
“When you think of beauty… you’re not taught to think of me,” Man signs in the video. “We are often told: we have lost. We have a loss. We are at a loss. But through this loss there is a great gain, perhaps even such a gain that we forget about the loss. In the face of prejudice, we gain strength. Other senses heightened, coming together to form a dynamic perspective of life we will always carry.
“This expertise, this deaf gain that we are all granted come together to form community, culture, establishing a continuum of people who are different… yet connected,” they sign. “And how beautiful is it to be able to communicate underwater,” Man asks at the end of the video.
View the collection and book your order here.
Watch in Sign Language
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