VAR Cultural Association, Romania, with a wide experience in implementing and developing projects with a strong socio-cultural character launched, in February 2022, the first international project WaveforMe dedicated to promoting the creative potential of youth with hearing impairments, cochlear implant/ hearing aids.
The project was created due to the positive impact of the previous approaches. An emblematic item, “Sound Imprint” (2021), a medium-length film which captures the portraits and presents the voices of 29 youth with hearing impairments, cochlear implant/ hearing aids, the protagonists and makers of the film, is available for free in English too (a project supported by the Community Foundation and MOL Romania).
WaveforMe develops on three directions and in different stages: social, educational and cultural.
In the first stage, the interdisciplinary team formed of professionals, coordinated and held three workshops with five meetings (visual arts, public speaking and percussion) that 20 Romanian youth with hearing impairments (aged 14-18) benefited from. The character of the meetings was a recreational one, meant to encourage creativity and innovation. The activities that were organized during the workshops helped the youth to discover and potentiate the inner resources in order to value them. They were encouraged to take initiatives, express their views so as to improve their communication strategies. Last but not least, the aim was to support and strengthen the process of commitment, resilience and adaptation.
The second stage requires the production of six podcasts with hearing-impaired adult guests from Romania and abroad who work in various cultural fields. So far, four podcasts with guests from Romania have been broadcast (available for free, with English subtitles). The series will be completed with two more guests from Austria and Belgium. By means of these materials, we wish to bring together people from different geographical backgrounds with similar experiences, interests and needs, giving the teens with hearing impairments the chance to discover exactly the type of influencers they need.
At the same time, the third stage has started, a stage in which we’ve set up the platform that will also host the visual art gallery – an exhibition area dedicated to youth with hearing impairments in the country and abroad. Even if the open call was addressed to young people aged 12-18, there was also a demand from those aged 18-30. Taking this into account, on the 1 June 2022 with the launch of the virtual gallery, there will be an exhibition area reserved for them as well. For more information, please see the article which follows.
We encourage young people all over to join us, participating with artwork, the WaveforMe platform being an open and constantly improving area. By means of WaveforMe project we wish to promote diversity and tolerance, increasing the awareness and acceptance of reality for these talented young people.
An article by Vero Nica (project manager/representative of VAR Cultural) & Magda Cernea (psychologist, audiologist, drama therapist).