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Since its birth in 1989,  the De’VIA movement has grown and grown.  More and more motifs and themes are flourishing  and more and more artists are joining the De’VIA movement.  Emerging and established artists are contributing to a renaissance of De’VIA, while experimenting with a variety of mediums, motifs, and messages.  With the advent of the digital age, more and more of the public is being exposed to De’VIA, and it is becoming increasingly sought after and valued.  Deafhood and De’VIA has spread via social media and has awakened a collective consciousness.  De’VIA artists today are heavily involved in 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



4 Elements of De’VIA

De’=Deaf and Deaf Blind expression of Affirmation, Resistance and Liberation.

V=View of How Deaf and Deaf Blind experience the world

I=Images/motifs/symbols of the Deaf Experience

A=Art, ARTivism, Aesthetics and Authentic expressions of the Deaf Experience


 Information on this page is developed by the De ’VIA Curriculum Development Team, Summer 2014 in Rochester,N.Y.
















Meaning of Motifs/ Symbols sample

Blue color: Deafhood.

Black/blue/Red color: Oralism, audism and Mask of Benevolence.

Black hole/Circles: invasion, attacking, Second Wave of Oralism.

Broken Clocks: bored in oralism life, feel disappearing as extinct.

Chains/ Strings: tied down, audism, trapped, colonialism, and Deaf person as a puppet.

Chopped Hands: ASL Prohibit and banned, profits.

Door: Deafhood Journey. Stop Oppression. Deaf path.

Dragon/Fishes/Butterfly: Deaf people.

DNA structure: Deaf gene, genetic engineering, Deaf Hereditary. Eugenics.

Ear, mouth: Audism, oralism, genetic engineering, Eugenics, Alexander Graham Bell.

Elephant: Alexander Graham Bell and his associates.

Eye/Hand: Deaf people, Deaf pride, Deaf culture, language and Communication.

Fence: barrier communication. Separation between Speaking Language and Sign Language.

Flower /Tree/Nature: Natural  Sign Language and Deafhood.

Heart: Deaf heart, Deaf mind.

Hook:Eugenics,Oralism Abuse, Brutal Discpline.

Mother Earth:  Deaf People with Natural Sign Language .Eyeth

Red Mountain: Deaf people fighting to stay strong, to overcome Oralism.

Window: Seeing clear on communication. Fight way out.

Yellow light:  Deaf people will be seeing communication. Deaf Community. Socialize.

Yellow color: Hope and light.    

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