Sign language festival

Fotoverslag - Photo report

On Saturday 14 October 2017, Het Taalmuseum organized the Gebarentaalfestival (Sign Language Festival) in the Hortus Botanicus Leiden. During this festival, together with about 200 visitors we celebrated the richness of the Dutch Sign Language. People, both deaf, hard of hearing and hearing, met each other during a program revolving around poetry and language, with performances, workshops, talk and more. The festival concluded with the unveiling of the world’s very first wall poem in sign language.

A photo report of the festival:

Workshop Visual Vernacular by Giuseppe Giuranna.


Workshop Principles of Dutch Sign Language by Michiel Bouw.

Tour of the Hortus in Dutch Sign Language, with interpreter.

Roos Wattel of Wat Telt! leads the afternoon.

Tony Bloem about the birth of poetry in Dutch sign language.

Selena Waas recites a poem in Dutch Sign Language.

Presentation of a new website about poetry by Wim Emmerik: (only available in Dutch).

Performance Visual Vernacular by Giuseppe Giuranna + Q&A.

Jean Couprie shares his memories of Wim Emmerik.


Unveiling wall poem in Dutch Sign Language
Het Taalmuseum and TEGEN-BEELD Foundation concluded the Gebarentaalfestival by unveiling the first wall poem in Dutch Sign Language at the Hortus Botanicus Leiden. The wall poem consists of a continuous display of the poem Polder by Wim Emmerik.

Photos: Anna Glinka 

For the organization of the Gebarentaalfestival, Het Taalmuseum worked together with Wat Telt! Wat Telt! strives for a society in which the deaf and hard of hearing can fully take part, based on equality.

The wall poem in Dutch Sign Language has been realized by Het Taalmuseum, in collaboration with TEGEN-BEELD Foundation, the Hortus Botanicus and Leiden University (LUCL). This project has been made possible thanks to the financial support of Fonds 1818, LUCL, LSC-VVSL 1967 and the Nationaal Dovenfonds (Dutch National Fund for the Deaf). Polder is part of a series of film poems in sign language (collected on the DVD Motioning),
directed by filmmaker Leendert Pot and Anja Hiddinga.