Surdists United, Inc. (SU) was originally founded in 2014 by a group of Deaf View/Image Art De’VIA ARTivists under the name of DeArtivists United (D^AU). This was done in honor of the 25th anniversary and in recognition of Surdism and the 2nd wave of De’VIA, which takes De’VIA into the classrooms and out into our communities. In 2019, we renamed ourselves Surdists United, embracing Surdism with the goal of seeking to promote Deaf themed performance, writing, and film as well as visual art. In addition, Surdists United is committed to social justice via ARTivism.
Surdism is a collective international movement which carries a positive, constructive, militant and inclusive philosophy that denounces prejudices like audism while stimulating creativity to express Deafhood via theatre, literature, cinema and visual arts. ~ Surdism Manifesto (2009)
ARTivism “The artivist (artist +activist) uses her artistic talents to fight and struggle against injustice and oppression—by any medium necessary. The artivist merges commitment to freedom and justice with the pen, the lens, the brush, the voice, the body, and the imagination. The artivist knows that to make an observation is to have an obligation.” ~ M.K. Asante from It’s Bigger Than HipHop
Our purpose is to:
- build a network of artists/performers/writers whose works are committed to social justice and social equality
- seek opportunities and support for artistic expressions about Deaf experiences that involve taking and making a stand against injustice
- promote the inclusion of Surdism works in galleries, museums, theatres, and publications.
- organize and engage in peaceful non-violent activism while utilizing artistic expressions (via parades, vigils, workshops etc) provide workshops, teach-ins, artist-in-residencies, and consultation about Surdism and activism
D^AU banner meaning click for PDF explaining the banner
Our mission statement: Surdists United is a nonprofit 501c3 entity and a collective movement of visual artists, filmmakers, poets, storytellers, writers, & performers committed to creating art about Deaf experiences and social justice through ARTivism.