Pandora’s Box of Audism:

Inspired by Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, the motif is the treasure box, or Pandora’s Box of Audism. There are so many representative elements packed into this powerful painting, all coming together to tell the untold stories of the infamous Milan 1880 conference that forever scarred Deaf education and destroyed thousands of Deaf people’s lives. The black flags represent the Food & Drug Administration, A.G. Bell Headquarters, and National Institutes of Health, all of which purport the pathological perspective of Deaf people. A.G. Bell’s practices are often the elephant in the room, as shown here. Other elements include:

Bad doctor: Specialists and AGB supporters who are interested only in capitalism
Maze: The struggle of assimiliation found in so many Deaf communities around the world
Lantern: Shines a beam on audism and genocide
Coffin door: Shows past and present problems being nailed shut and buried
Deaf patient: Black holes represent the loss of identity
Hourglass: Time is of the essence
Chain and ball: Discrimination, inaccessibility, and unemployment
Monkey with swirly eyes: Deaf people will recognize this as representative of the audiologist’s office and field
Bag with hands inside: Deaf people’s gateway to the world — their hands — are taken prisoner
Baby: Taken away from its mother and Deaf community, leading to a loss of Deaf identity
Baby with wings: Being robbed of identity and language through cochlear implantation
Woman with wings: Mother of Deaf souls, holding up Eyeth
Eyes with tallies: Timeless with no chance at freedom
Fence (my trademark): Trapped in the room of isolation and deprivation
Victory Lady statue: Based on the Rochambeau Statue in Washington, D.C. (which was created by a Deaf French sculptor, Fernand Hamar): The mother of Deaf people’s rights

Weaved together, these create a story that is all too common among many Deaf children and adults.

Pandora's Box of Audism

  • 30 x 40 in. 2017. Oil and Acrylic.  if interested to purchase. if interested to purchase. Please contact Museum of Deaf History, Arts and Culture's Chuck Baird Gallery for one year. Sept. 2019 till Sept. 2020. Link: https://www.museumofdeaf.org/

© 2015 Ellen Mansfield. Proudly created with Wix.com

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