Please help me make my film a success by donating today (more information at the bottom of this page).
People Like Me is a 20-minute experimental essay film and an ethnography of poetry by Deaf and Autistic poets, that challenges traditional notions of communication and lets the voiceless speak for themselves. People Like Me deconstructs these poems in an act of lingual and cultural translation accessible to multiple audiences, with additional scenes of storytelling that contextualize the poets’ work. The film is a declaration against phonocentrism–the assertion that speech is central to personhood–and makes its dehumanizing consequences clear.
The very personhood of non speaking people is constantly challenged. At best, we are placed in educational systems that privilege the development of “normal” behavior over the academic skills necessary to develop the ability for self-determination in a capitalist society. At worst, disabled children and adults are murdered by their caregivers (filicide), as frequently as once a week. The risk of living in a phonocentric society (a society that privileges verbal communication) is literally life and death for me and my community members. People Like Me works to mitigate this risk by educating audiences about non speaking people and our humanity through the deeply nuanced, beautiful poetry that we produce.
I have currently raised $325 of my $2,000 goal. Every bit counts. To help me complete my thesis film, please visit my Fractured Atlas page to make a tax-deductible donation. People Like Me is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of People Like Me must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Special thanks to generous contributions from:
Judi Levine & Ben Lewin