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The Museum of Us: Deafuturama

A panel discussion with Deaf artists on creating work for an accessible future.

Ramas McRae, 'The word 'disability' is no longer is used', video still, 2021.

In November 2020 Arts Access Victoria commissioned 50 Deaf and Disabled artists to create digital works exploring the questions, what could an accessible future be for Victoria? And what sort of future do we want to emerge?

Caroline Bowditch will be joined by Deaf artists Chelle Destefano, Elvin Lam and Ramas McRae to discuss the work they made for the Museum of Us. We’ll discuss where the work came from, why it felt important to make now, and what the ideal cultural landscape is from a Deaf perspective.

This panel will primarily be in Auslan with English interpretation provided.

This Event is part of Alter State’s Digital Launch. Alter State is a celebration of disability, creativity and culture presented in partnership with Arts Centre Melbourne and Arts Access Victoria.

This event will be recorded for archival purposes. The recording may be shared in future on presenter channels. All questions and comments made by attendees during the event will be captured as part of this recording.

Once you click the booking link you will have up to 20mins to complete the online registration. This includes setting up an Arts Centre Melbourne account if you don’t already have one.

If you need support booking a ticket or have any questions email or phone 1300 182 183.

About the artists

Chelle Destefano

Chelle Destefano is a Deaf multi-disciplinary artist working with performance art, sculpture, textile, poetry and Auslan poetry, drawing and painting, often combining some or many of these disciplines into one work.

Chelle was selected as a finalist for many art awards including the Banyule Art Award for works on paper, Lyn McCrea Drawing Prize, Noel Counihan Art Award, Incinerator Art Award, Fishers Ghost Award, Lake Art Award (which she became the winner of in December 2020), and the Footscray Art Award in 2021.

Watch Chelle Destefano’s ‘My Language, My Right’

Elvin Lam

Originally from Hong Kong, Elvin Lam is a Deaf freelance dancer, actor and visual artist. Although born profoundly Deaf, Elvin was determined to be a dancer and artist despite many people telling him it was not possible. His love of the arts began at an early age through the reading of Japanese anime cartoons, inspiring him to create and draw his own cartoon series and won many competitions at school. He majored in Art at school and went on to study Costume & Set Design at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing in Hong Kong. In 2000 he moved to Australia to study Building Design.

While living in Melbourne, Elvin joined the group Deaf Can Dance (now The Delta Project) performing in works such as Under My Skin in 2016. He continues to practice his drawing, and examples of his work can be found on social media platforms throughout Melbourne. He has an interest in animation and film and is hoping to work in this genre in the near future. As a Deaf artist, Elvin is passionate about supporting and advocating for the rights of Deaf culture and many of his works explore how world and environmental issues appear from the Deaf perspective.

Watch Elvin Lam’s ‘Deafuturama’

Ramas McRae

Ramas McRae is a registered International Sign Interpreter – WASLI and NAATI as accredited Deaf Interpreter. He is fluent in several sign languages, including Lithuanian Sign Language, British Sign Language (BSL) and Auslan. Ramas is passionate about Deaf Arts and has, throughout his career, been actively involved in filmmaking, theatre and linguistics. He is a filmmaker and has produced a series of short films, I See, You Say (2018) – screened at Clin De Oeil, French Deaf Arts Festival 2019; Invisible Skin – Melbourne Fringe Festival ( 2019); and Buried Treasure, Two Degrees ( 2020). He has worked with Irene Holub on Invisible Skin and will be working on Chaos I for White Night. Ramas is a member of Turquoise Australia, which promotes and support the production of Australian Deaf Short Films. He was also a member of Auslan Activate Artists under Arts Access Victoria. Ramas provided Auslan and culture consultancy for theatre and movie performances and recently for Dry Fire, which he co-directed the film with Dan Farmer.

He is one of the founding directors of the FLOW Festival, and currently, he is the director of the FLOW Festival 2021 – Deaf and Hard of Hearing Arts, which was held as a digital festival from 18 to 23 September 2021.

Watch Ramas McRae’s ‘The word ‘disability’ is no longer is used’

Find out More

Find out what other events we are hosting at Alter State

Learn More about Alter State Digital Launch

Learn more about Alter State

The Museum of Us was funded by the Victorian Government for Victoria Together.

The Museum of Us: Deafuturama is supported by the City of Melbourne.

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