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Louise Stern

Louise Stern is an American writer and artist who works on language and communication through literature, film and the visual arts. She grew up in an exclusively deaf community and is fourth generation deaf on her father's side and third generation deaf on her mother's side. She collaborates on the Bonewords project with the British company Surface Area Dance Theatre as a leader.

Surface Area Dance Theatre was founded in 2007 in the UK as a community interest company by Nicole Vivien Watson, now executive director of the company. The focus of the company's work is on accessibility and the involvement of the Deaf community, through an ongoing commitment to finding an interface that connects Sign Language, Deaf culture and dance. The skills of the company's leaders and members have enabled collaborations with internationally renowned partners and institutes in the UK.

Bonewords is a research and development project on communication and interaction between individuals. Louise Stern at the age of twenty-one left the exclusively deaf community of ASL users where she had lived until then to live and work in a predominantly hearing art world. In response to the difficulty of access and in the absence of an interpreter, she began an exchange of handwritten notes to converse with her hearing peers. The research starts from the consideration that every human has different experiences that become part of a personal background and wants to analyse the ways of communication which may exist.

The week-long residency will end in two days of workshops open to the community. To make the experience accessible, the company has been using technological supports such as Subpacs for some time and dedicates part of the research to the perception of sound of deaf and hearing people.

With the support of Open Dialogo bilateral cultural exchange UK/Italia. Arts Council England, Direzione Generale Spettacolo MiC, Italian Cultural Institute London, Arts – British Council, Stopgap Dance Company