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BSL Programme: Under the Lamp with Carolyn Nabarro

chat_series1.gifBSLBT is now screening a series, Under the Lamp with Carolyn Nabarro. This is a BSL chat style programme, and the guests for the first episode are Stephen Dering, Issy Schisselman and Oliver Westbury. It was produced by Remark! If you missed it or are outside the UK, you can catch it online.

BSLBT's Wicked Series One is now complete, of which there were eight episodes. Again, you can catch up with this online via BSLBT plus its available on the Community Channel (if you want to max your screen).

Comment from Alison:
Its good these programmes are being commisssioned and clearly lots of hard work has gone into getting these off the ground. Well done to those involved.

One wish from me. Someone really needs to think about creating a progamme with some assumed knowledge of the Deaf community. I get bored with watching a lot of the superficial stuff that comes out of both See Hear and BSLBT. Think about it, a lot of your core audience are people who hang around the Deaf community, and who know their stuff. Thus why are programme makers always targeting the most basic level? Sure, on its face it looks like inclusiveness (assume no knowledge), but in fact it shuts many people out and is a waste of valuable airtime. Featuring individuals are a good thing, because it tells stories but it still comes across as somewhat patronising. Squeezing one person per ten minutes, does it really get to know a person and their fundamental beliefs or what makes them tick? I don't think it does. Where's the BSL equivilent of BBC 4? Media people collaborate with academics, and start teaching people at another level. Why isn't a Deaf Studies department getting their work commissioned, bring those journals to life? Not the same stuff that gets rehashed for the billionth time, push those boundaries.

Comments (13)

Who needs BSLTV in reality ? there is more than enough online now with youtube/sign tube/ and most of it free to air, this is deaf people in real time, not plastic TV via 'community' edict. OK we don't have 'programs' as such but the option is easily there for ANY deaf people to make their own, so why wait ? We don't have to wait until Remark or SEE HEAR does something any more. They are part of the same 'systems'.

I don't think we would miss either if they vanished. When we do watch these programs it's "We've all seen this before..." SEE HEAR did cover deaf theatre and access last week, and there, few wanted to do BSL theatre.... the writing is on the wall already, I'd be interested to know how many deaf watch either SEE HEAR or WICKED..... whatever they do, it's 'not enough' is it ? but no-one comes up with an answer. I think subtitles have killed off BSL access in media frankly. Now deaf can follow with titles any film,play or debate that goes on... they don't have to wait for BSL access first, or, struggle when it comes via some regional variation they don't know. I suggested 2 years ago that going to 'community' TV was a huge gamble for the deaf, there aren't the viewers there, and of course, this means LESS BSL on mainstream as well, so an own goal.

There were complaints wasn't there ? this 'talk show' failed to engage meaningful deaf in their debate, because REMARK! failed to tell anyone about the auditions until too late. Put up job ?. They missed a rare opportunity really as I volunteered ! indeed the advert for the program auditions itself did not appear on the REMARK! site until they had near finished filming and moved out of Wales.

They only get one chance from me.... even SEE HEAR never got that.

Is this a conspiracy theory or am I living on a different planet. I must get the tin foil out the cupboard.

Good comment Alison, I sometimes feel like we are trying to appeal to the majority like a Black musicians playing excellent Waltz when they really want to play Jazz. We need to stop apologising for being Deaf and reach to our core values.

I think BSL output is always going to be a contentious affair, because it doesn't engage with most deaf.

It's set apart ON deaf online sites..... The idea is NOT to appeal to as wide an audience as possible ? bit pointless then isn't it ? UTLWC is hardly 'Art' media, or cultural.... I'm sure Carolyn would rather be on mainstream and not community TV.... I would only ask they adopt aspects of mainstream TV, because that is where deaf viewers ARE, so they must be doing something right. This is not selling out 'core values' of culture, unless your idea of culture is a lot less than mine is. It is making it MORE accessible to a wider area, which would only be a positive thing for deaf people.

You don't make culture accessible by making it harder for everyone but the deaf to follow. You give an 'in' or you stay OUT.

BSL television is to serve BSL using people. As S4C is to serve Welsh speaking people. English speaking television, is to serve those who use English.

What part of that logic is so difficult?

'S4C is ACCESSIBLE to both english and welsh speakers, and the deaf, it is also 'mainstream' in content. That cannot be said of BSL output. OK it doesn't go for BSL much, until the BSL user STOPS demanding ENGLISH access, on WELSH programs for BSL signers, it won't go forward, go figure ! The access is still there for 98% of deaf people, the odd 2% that use 'BSL' and claim cannot follow english or welsh, cannot be served effectively anyway. I doubt they sign BSL well either.... preference is a red herring, the need is still met. S4C meets the need, and, they did max access in titling FIRST in Televised media. The issue is BSL activism suffers greta garbo syndrome... I also did NOT see welsh deaf taking the step of starving themselves to get what they want, as Gwynfor did, they were quick enough to take what was there though......

You can turn on/off English subtitles on S4C. BSL users get English forced on them by embedded subtitles (whcih happens on both SH and BSLBT).

Most Welsh speakers, includng first language, can understand English too. Thus, why have Welsh speaking programmes at all? That's just a question based on your logic above.

BSLBT is money taken away from BSL money. Noone has taken subtitling money away, thus leave BSL users say how its spent. The requirement to provide BSL here is a legal requirement, and not down to your opinion or mine.

Most signers can read too.... BSL may well be a legal entitlement, but a neccesity in media access ? I think the case increasingly not proven or valid. BSL is only 25 years old..Welsh culture there is no comparison whatever. By putting this show on a community channel, you have effectively taken BSL out of mainstream anyway.... this is admitting the BSL access cause is already lost. BSL is not the means, deaf use to access education, or most medias. Text has won this fight, indeed the show in question has only the viewing it has because of TITLES. It would have bombed with BSL alone.

MM - you are as bad as the RNID. Let BSL users speak for themselves, and say what they need!

You'll run out of messengers to shoot one day.

And you are an appointed messenger on behalf of whom, exactly?

Quit the snipping MM it does not bode good when we each of us have our own opinion the matter “D/deafness” and “Deaf Culture” issues.

Hearing the people debate encourages positive thinking to some degree - to stifle with that kind of tone you make. It makes the listening that much harder.

Your advantage is that BSL cannot access this medium effectively to do battle your attitude to life. Or to that affects my English writing.
Stop being a nasty welsh bastard (I am welsh and this kinda give us welshie a bad name says Ann Robinson!)

Alison – is silent golden when someone does not want to listen and he is one of them so best quit as you have just done!

Alison, you have absolutely valid points. Have you given your feedback to BSLBT? Perhaps you can get something going by getting Deaf Studies people and BSLBT together around one table.

I watched the 1st 4 episodes last night and I do share your sentiments, Grumps. I liked the Issey and Westbury's interview as that captured my attention more. The interviews were too short, leaving me feeling underwhelmed at end of each one, with exceptions.

I would have liked these programmes to be more topical, subjected to vigourous examination, or even discussed at length. "Loose Women" is a good format - chatty, informative and get different perspectives and experiences with a guest panel member - which could be one of these people appeared on UTL. It is nice touch to remember the way of life of chatting under the lamp but surely they must have had deeper discussions or engaging debates back in those days.

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