Voices from El Sayed - a snail in the desert
Press release issued: 5 May 2009
A one-off screening of a film which follows the effects of a cochlear implant operation on a young boy, and how it threatens his village’s tradition of peaceful co-existence between deaf and hearing takes place in Bristol this week.
The Bedouin village of El-Sayed has the largest percentage of Deaf people in the world. A unique sign language has evolved over generations as the primary communication in a society that accepts deafness as a natural part of life. That is, until the village’s co-existence between Deaf and hearing is disrupted when a father decides to get a cochlear implant for his son.
Voices from El-Sayed – a Snail in the Desert (subtitled) will be screened at the Watershed in partnership with the University of Bristol’s Centre for Deaf Studies (CDS). The film will not be on general release in the UK; at present this is the only planned UK screening of this important documentary. The screening will be followed by a discussion with BSL interpreters providing voice-over and translation to BSL on the issues raised in the documentary.
Dr Steven Emery, Research Fellow in the Centre for Deaf Studies, said: “The screening has been set up to encourage balanced debate on this sensitive issue. CDS does not hold an official stance regarding the issue of cochlear implantation, as it is accepted that decisions of this kind are very personal to the individuals involved.
“CDS is, like many university departments across the UK, committed to encouraging widespread discussion on topics that its staff, students and the local and national Deaf community will find of interest. Such discussion forms a key part of the academic discipline of Deaf Studies, and it is through this process that we learn more about what Deaf Studies can contribute to the wider field of human knowledge.”
The film will be of interest to anyone interested in minority languages, cultural studies and human geography, as well as Deaf Studies and audiology.
Voices from El Sayed - A Snail in the Desert will be screened on Saturday 9 May at 2.45 pm at the Watershed Cinema, 1 Canon’s Road, Harbourside, Bristol.
Tickets priced at £6.50 (£5.00 for concessions) are available directly from the Watershed. Booking is advised as the number of tickets available is limited.
To see a trailer about the film, go to www.youtube.com