En el XIII Congreso Mundial de la Federación Mundial del Sordo realizado en Brisbane, Australia en julio del 1999, se llevó a cabo una de las más memorables presentaciones a las que he asistido.
Estuve como participante en este congreso, y pude presenciar la ceremonia del lazo azul. Con esta ceremonia se buscó hacer un llamado a la comunidad sorda mundial sobre la importancia de observar el pasado, reflexionar sobre el presente y luchar por un futuro.
La puesta en escena de este evento fue la siguiente:
En el auditorio se encontraban varios miles de personas sordas de más de 80 países. Se pidió a los intérpretes de lengua de señas que no participaran ni interpretaran durante la ceremonia (con la única excepción a los participantes con sordoceguera) debido a que la información se dio en lengua de señas internacional, a modo de que todos y todas las personas presentes pudieran entenderlo de manera directa.
Las luces del auditorio se bajaron y siete personas subieron al escenario llevando consigo una vela prendida. Cada una de estas personas presentó un breve mensaje, algunos de ellos incluyeron algunas imágenes que fueron proyectadas al mismo tiempo que iban expresando su mensaje en señas.
Esta ceremonia fue escrita por Paddy Ladd a solicitud de la Federación Mundial del Sordo de manera tal que permita a todas y todos los participantes poder hacer una breve reflexión sobre la comunidad sorda y unirnos para trabajar hacia un mismo frente.
Estar ahí durante ese momento fue increíble, la energía, unidad y espiritualidad que se sintió fue enorme. Me ha alegrado muchísimo encontrar el vídeo de esta ceremonia y recordar ese momento vivido.
La transcripción en ingles de la ceremonia:
Narrator One ( Colin Allen) :
We are gathered here this week to celebrate our Deaf lives and communities. To bear witness to what is in front of our eyes here - Deaf people from every part of the world, of all ages and all colours - this diversity joined in unity. We celebrate our proud history, our arts and our cultures. And we celebrate our survival. Despite adversity and oppression we are still here, and stronger than before.
But let us remember that we are meant to be here, alive as a part of the rainbow diversity of the human race. And today, let us remember that many of us and our ancestors have suffered at the hands of those who believe we should not be here. We are here to remember them too.
Narrator Two (Libby Pollard) :
We remember those Deaf people who were placed in mental hospitals simply because they were Deaf and then were left neglected without communication at all for their rest of their lives.
And we remember too those Deaf people who were experimented on to try to make us into hearing people - a practice which you all know has reared its head once more, gathering steam by the day, so that somewhere in the world at this very moment, a Deaf child is being experimented on.
Narrator Three (Hank L. Stack) :
We remember those Deaf people who were victims of Oralism in their education, denied their sign languages and Deaf teachers, and forced instead to attempt only to hear and to speak, as indeed has happened to most of us here. And we remember those who were brainwashed into fearing contact with their Deaf communities ; who, rejecting them tried to fit into the hearing world as a hearing person, and failing, spent and still spend the rest of their lives in isolation.
We remember the constant attempts to either eliminate us or prevent us from being born, by not allowing Deaf people to marry each other, or through enforced sterilisation. We are all too aware that this spectre has not vanished with the Nazis, but has gained new life through the immoral glamour of genetic engineering.
Narrator Four (David and Levi Wallace) :
We remember those Deaf people who were divided from their families because of Oralism. We remember the suffering of all of our hearing parents, brainwashed and confused, unable to communicate with their own Deaf children.
And we remember our own hearing children, who suffered the daily oppression that comes with being members of a Deaf family. We remember how the responsibility of interpreting for their parents led them into having too grow up too quickly, into a world which does not recognise their own identity.
Narrator Five (Laurene Gallimore) :
But we are menat to be here ! We offer the world the example we set as Deaf citizens of the world. Our sign languages communicate right across the Earth, over the borders of petty nationalisms. We show that all races can unite as equals.
Our beautiful sign languages enrich the entire world with new ways of seeing and being. We inspire those who lose their hearing to know that being Deaf need not be the end of the world. We take joy in our Deafhood, and we are strong and positive as Deaf people.
Narrator Six ( Liisa Kaupinnen) :
These experiences and beliefs have come together in the symbol of the Blue Ribbon. The ribbon itself represents remembrance of those who have suffered oppression. And blue was the colour given to Deaf people by the Nazis. We encourage you all to bear the ribbon home to spread its message around the world, in your own ways, in your own clubs, in your own schools. Take this message to the hearing media that it may spread more rapidly.
To wear the Blue Ribbon is to pledge yourselves not only to the memory of those who have suffered, but to those who are still suffering today. And it is to pledge yourselves to fight to end that oppression now, for all the world's Deaf children and the others still to come.
At the end, the narrators move to the front of the stage in a close semi-circle, with the Deaf child at the centre in front of them. They pause for a moment, look down at him, pause, and then look back to the audience. They hold the pause for a moment and file file offstage.