Auslan storytellers building accessibility from the ground up

How can decolonisation strategies empower Deaf communities and help build an all-inclusive exhibition? We spoke with two artists leading this vision.
Exhibition with auslan storytellers

What I Wish I’d Told You is an exhibition that has recently opened at Footscray Community Arts in Melbourne’s diverse west side. But more than that, it’s a national project using decolonising strategies and truth-telling to empower and affirm experiences of Deafhood.

Led by Deaf artist Chelle Destefano and Deaf advocate and artist Claire Bridge, the project engaged more than 70 Deaf storytellers and hearing allies to pave a new path of accessibility which centres autonomous storytelling over interpreting.

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Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. Most recently she took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne. Instagram: @lleizy_