Video 50 years of Finnish deaf culture days

This is a very old post (2006), written by Sven Noben, founder of Signfuse. Several data (and links) in this article may be outdated.

The Finnish Deaf people had something to celebrate.
Exactly 50 years ago, the Culture Days were established. It has been a very popular event up to date.
3 days filled with Deaf culture, performed by Deaf people, in a rally to win the first prize.

For this intense event, I was asked to create a movie for the opening ceremony of the 50th Culture Days.

For me this was a huge honour, for a country with such a rich and proud Deaf history. No, I definitely didn’t have to think this over again.

Loaded with a huge bag of video archives (approx. 30 hours of video) in one hand and just one tiny Mini-DV tape in the other, I rushed to my video editing computer.

The Mini-DV tape contained the speech, performed by interpreter Markus Aro.

While I was browsing the huge archive, full of tape, recorded during previous Culture Days, I edited the speech, carried out by my friend Markus Aro.

As I didn’t want the interpreter to be in front of the video, but rather be the voice of the video, I cut away his body to just leave his hands and face.

Now that the movie had a head and hands, I just had to add the best parts of the archive.

Oops, there, a conflict!
I could not combine the signed speech with the archive images. Two moving images at the same time would be very confusing…
For a hearing audience, both an off-screen voice and a moving image can be blended together, with absolutely no conflict at all.
This seemed impossible to achieve for a Deaf audience… I have to admit it, I felt very jealous towards the hearing audience that they didn’t have this limitation.

So, the movie had to – no alternative available – alternate between moving pictures (archive) and signed speech. Anyway to make the alternations more exciting I have added hot flames for the transitions (see picture).

The choice of flames was related to the symbol of the culture days; a burning torch, but it was a question whether elder people would survive the trendy and young movie with spicy flames…
It were them to be honoured, with 50 years of Deaf Culture days written into their collective memory.

The Culture Days became a success with 1500 visitors, and so did this movie.

Fortunately many elder people expressed their joy of watching it.

SignFuse created the opening film for the Finnish Deaf Culture Days in Helsinki, 2006. In this 6 minute video, Markus Aro takes you on a journey back to 1956, when the first Culture Days were organized in Finland. A spicy mixture of new and old film illustrate the evolution in 50 years of tradition. The video was created for Kuurojen Liitto.

Unfortunately this video is not available. It is property of Kuurojen Liitto, the Finnish Deaf Association.