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IVT: The Art of Emancipation Contribution to a History of Deaf Art: a selection of contemporary cases,
Olivier Schetrit
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In the past, Deaf Art has been little known and even ignored. Following the wave of student and social
protest movements in 1968, it found new expression, recognition and freedom. The protest movements,
which began in the United States, stimulated the founding of the International Visual Theatre (IVT) in
Paris in 1976. IVT became a cultural hub for Deaf people where individuals came together through a
shared passion for theatre and the Arts. It gave birth to a plethora of artistic projects incorporating sign
language and visual culture practices. For a new generation of French Deaf artists, IVT was a starting
point, which gradually freed them to create authentic expressions. Thanks to those creative visions, a
vibrant contemporary Deaf Arts scene has emerged in France; however, this movement is still fragile and
heavily dependent on the internet as there are few face-to-face forums for meetings, exchanges, and
dissemination.

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