Started: 2023

Time/labour: ︎︎︎

Thanks to:
Writers: Sigrid Macdonald, Make or Break, visitors to DONHR project at Lismore Regional Gallery
Translator/Glosser: Sigrid Macdonald
Designer: Ella Cutler
Illustrators: Sigrid Macdonald, Ella Cutler
Auslan translator and performer: Janelle Whalan
Video editor: Miška Mandić
Venue partner: Lismore Regional Gallery

Auslan // futures // collaboration // speculative fiction // text // translation


Image: Sigrid Macdonald and Make or Break, First Sentences, 2023, photo by Make or Break.
FIRST SENTENCES is a collaborative book and video series that asks you to get curious about Deaf culture and the importance of accessibility. It contains a selection of first sentences written and signed by people from Lismore, generated in response to a creative writing prompt that Make or Break devised for their Department of Non-Human Resources (DONHR) project.

In the book, each original English sentence has been interpreted in Auslan and recorded as a video, and then translated back into English. First Sentences highlights conceptual and linguistic differences between Auslan and English as a way to encourage curiosity about languages and to share the theatre and poetry of Auslan, an image-based language with no written equivalent.

The book design allows the book to be unbound and remixed, and there will be releasing a free, accessible ebook in the near future, with image descriptions and an introduction to the design of the book.

This project was supported by the Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW, Arts Northern Rivers and Lismore Regional Gallery.