ConnectHear is bringing Pakistan’s first ever deaf theater competition to Karachi called Ishara: Lafzon Seh Aagay!
You got that right. The competition will feature hearing-impaired performers and groups who will showcase their talent and prove to everyone that words aren’t the only medium you need to communicate with the world.
The competition will also be collaborating with deaf organizations and schools, and will provide them with a chance to connect with the hearing audience – which is something that has never happened before in Pakistan.
Ishara: Lafzon Se Aagay aims to bridge the gap in the media industry and wants to pave a way for inclusivity where deaf people also get a chance to be featured in mainstream films and dramas.
To further that cause, they have renowned actors, directors, and producers on board who will come and see the talent that these hearing-impaired individuals have.
Sadaf Amin Notta, the Event Director of Ishara: Lafzon Se Aagay shared details about the background to the inception of the event:
“I distinctly remember watching my mother as she would dramatically reenact a story or narrate a mundane event that had happened to her on a particular day and I wished she had a proper platform or some sort of an opportunity to showcase her innate theatrical talents. It isn’t just my mother who is gifted in her theatrical abilities; acting comes naturally to many deaf individuals. So many gifted deaf individuals and their talents go unnoticed because there isn’t a proper platform that supports them.”
“This is why we came up with the idea of initiating a deaf theater competition. We wanted to bring forth an opportunity for deaf people to go out into the world and let people know that acting isn’t just exclusive to hearing individuals only.”
Previously, ConnectHear also organized Pakistan’s first ever deaf-inclusive concert in collaboration with Strings, and also partnered up with Geo TV to interpret the Election Transmission earlier this year.
According to the CEO of ConnectHear, Azima Dhanjee, Ishara and ConnectHear are steps towards the path of inclusivity.
“The journey of ConnectHear has been focused towards providing communication access to the Deaf community in Pakistan. We have created inclusivity in spaces such as a concert that is beyond the understanding of the hearing community. This is what we show, how design change could make every single space accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities.”
“Even at our event, we have performances from both deaf and hearing community to create an example for other organizations to follow. We are pushing the hearing community to join us for the event so that they could witness inclusivity on their own!?”
It is a wonderful step towards making the Pakistani community more inclusive of differently abled people and we wish that there are more platforms that would help bridge the gap between different segments of our society.
Cover image via ConnectHear