Thanks to a call out on Facebook Boris ended up staying over at Pien's place. She documented two weeks of her life on one roll of film and showed Boris what life is like in the world of the deaf. Wondering what that looked like? Read on!
Where did Boris end up and what does his host’s life look like?
Boris ended up with Pien van Dis, a 24 year old student of the graphical arts academy in The Hague living in Amsterdam. I live in a student housing project with 8 other people. Right now there are 3 guys and 6 girls living there. There is one thing we all have in common: we are all deaf.
I was born deaf, there is no real cause for my deafness. My parents and sisters use sign language with me and I went to a school for deaf kids when I was younger. I went on to normal high school though and right now I’m following a ‘normal’ college study. There’s a interpreter with me every day who translates everything from spoken to sign language and back again.
How did Boris end up with you and what mission did you get?
Via Facebook I saw that Boris was looking for new friends and I definitely wanted to be one of them. I sent him a message that I could show him around in the world of the deaf and he decided to stay over for a while. He’s not the only one that stays over at our house. A lot of international friends stay over here, people often refer to us as the ‘hotel for the deaf’.
Did you know Lomography or is this all new to you?
I have an analogue SLR that used to be my dad’s camera and since December I own a LomoKino. I also shot with the La Sardina twice during the workshops in the Gallery Store Amsterdam. So, I do have some experience with Lomography, but it’s still in the starting phase.
How did you like having Boris around?
It was very nice. He made me realize a few things. Mostly that the world of the deaf isn’t that much different from the world of the hearing. The only real difference is sign language and not being able to hear. I promised Boris to show him the world of the deaf and that turned out to be harder thanI thought! Eventually I decided to use sign language to show him some basics.
How did Boris become part of your life in the past two weeks?
Boris dove head first into the world of the deaf and I took him with me everywhere I went. Among other things we went to the Deaf Meeting Center which is at the stadhouderskade 89 in Amsterdam. I go there a lot and they organize great activities. They also have a sign cafe and everyone is welcome, not just those who are audio challenged! I’m also in the crew of the DFCE (Deaf Free Camp Europe). An organization that was founded in 2002 by 2 Dutchies and will have its 10 year anniversary this year. Boris accompanied me to a meeting of the DFCE.
What subject was your favorite to photograph?
It was a real challenge to document the world as I see it. I tried to show Boris that sign language has an entirely different form of grammar than spoken and written language. In the 3 pictures below, you can see ‘was – fun – you’ how it would be said in Dutch sign language. In spoken/written language that means ‘It was fun with you’.
What did the people you encountered say about Boris?
Everyone I met was really interested in him. Every time I got Boris out of my bag they wanted to know all about him. I explained who he was and why he was with me and people became super enthusiastic about him.
Would you like to experiment some more with the Lomography cameras?
Definitely! I would love to experiment some more with my LomoKino. As soon as the weather clears up I can go out and have fun with him. He needs a lot of light and I don’t own a strobe flash. I love photography, and it doesn’t really matter if I use my digital camera, phone or an analogue camera!
Where would you like to take Boris?
I’ve only showed Boris the world of the Dutch deaf. I’d love to show him the international world of the deaf too!
What mission are you giving Boris’ next caretaker?
Take good care of him!
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