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Emmanuelle Laborit

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 10 months ago

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© 2007 E. Laborit


Buzz Literature (28, December 2006). Emmanuelle Laborit: Un théâtre pour réconcilier langue des signes et langue française. Retrieved September 12, 2007, from http://buzz.litteraire.free.fr/dotclear/index.php?tag/emmanuelle-laborit



Emmanuelle Laborit


Laborit a famous deaf actress who has made significant contributions to the deaf theater company in France, the International Visual Theater (IVT). Laborit has been deaf since birth and has utilized this as her strength to make a powerful impact on the theater experience and Deaf culture in France and beyond. She was introduced to the first Deaf adult at the age of seven and at ten she began learning French Sign Language (LSF) through the IVT, which at that time was disregarded. Since the late 19th century sign language was banned by French policy. Despite this stigma, Laborit became very involved with IVT after her successful performance in Beyond Silence and eight other films. She enjoyed working with hearing actors, but transitioned to work with other deaf actors. Laborit reflects "...I had had a great time and a good career. However, IVT was responsible for a great deal of who I was..." (Laborit, 2007). The military took IVT over as a museum so for twelve years they were without a "home". In 2005 she was asked to be the new Deaf artistic director and planned the redesign of IVT. It is unique in that it teaches sign language to students as well as theater. 


Shortly thereafter, French policy changed regarding sign language and by 1991 French schools allowed sign language in the classroom. By 2005, sign language was recognized as an official language in France. Emmanuelle Laborit's efforts to transform Deaf culture in France and beyond, with her theatrical performances has had a strong influence on not only the deaf community, but hearing as well. She has built bridges connecting both. In discussing her recently published book about her life, Laborit wrote, "Many people told me that deaf people cannot write books because they have trouble writing in French. As it happens, anytime people tell me that something cannot be done, I automatically rebel" (Laborit, 2007). This statement is reflective of Laborit's determination and wonderful strength of character.




Laborit, E.(2007). Writing my Life. Sign Language Studies, 7(2), 242-252.



Posted by Dayna Smith

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