Deaf History at the Pantheon

Visual description:

A white female with salt and pepper hair in an asymmetrical cut signs ASL into the camera. She is wearing a brown and white patterned dress. In the background, there is the Pantheon which is a large building with traditional greek columns. There is a large blue banner for the exhibit over her left shoulder.


Hello there! If you happen to find yourself near Paris for perhaps the CODA conference last week, WASLI this week, or WFD next week, I suggest checking out the Pantheon. I will admit I accidentally was spelling Parthenon earlier today when talking about this exhibit so I am sure people were wondering why I was talking about Greece! At any rate, this exhibit focuses on French sign language, the history of Deaf people in France, Deaf education, language, visual theatre, art, etc. It was all amazing.

There were many other gorgeous things to see at the Pantheon, but I kept my eye on the prize and made a beeline for the sign language section. Information was displayed in written French, written English, and also videos in both French sign language and International Sign (Gestuno). It was a great way to glean the information in a few different formats at once.

There were also pictures, busts of historical figures, artifacts and some publications from the time periods.

I had previously known a bit about the history of ASL interpreting and France is always included as a vital part of the history of Deaf education in America, but I will admit that I did not know what has been happening in the Deaf community in France much beyond that. This focused on events leading up to and including the Milan conference, and historical figures involved in the revival of French sign language since that time.

I had known of Laurent Clerc coming to the United States, but not the people who stayed in France but this laid it all out. I couldn’t recommend more to have you come and see this awe-inspiring exhibit for yourself!

(Visual: At the end, the camera zooms out and pans up to include the monumental structure of the building.)

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