Resource of
Open Minds

ZIMBABWE DEAF MEDIA TRUST

Themes: Art Practice, Community, Freedom of Expression,
Region: Southern Africa
Country: Zimbabwe

DEAF PERFORMING ARTS

Zimbabwe Deaf Media Trust (ZDMT) is working on the documentation of Deaf oral literature in Zimbabwe through the use of new media. The group is developing a Deaf entertainment site to promote Deaf artistic work and challenge the stereotype that music and dance are chiefly linked to sound. Content is repurposed into various formats, such as images, infographics, video clips, etc. The project uses art to counter and change the perception of the Deaf community in society and to develop and nurture Deaf talent. At the same time, it is purposed to give Deaf individuals the freedom to express themselves in Sign Language. The target mediums are poetry, mime, dance and different genres in Deaf oral literature, to cultivate a Deaf performing arts culture amongst the Deaf public. ZDMT's work includes organizing poetry slams, creating a compilation of digital stories that are distributed on DVD and social media. The Trust is also filming a documentary and forming a Deaf media channel to reach a wide range of audiences.

The Zimbabwe Deaf Media Trust (ZDMT) is a Deaf-led organization officially established in 2010. The Trust advocates for the inclusion of Deaf people at all levels in the economic and social spheres of society. To bridge information gaps and close language barriers, the work of the organization is centered on promoting the use of Sign Language and ensuring access and the full participation of Deaf individuals within their respective communities. The Trust’s mission is to transform and empower Deaf and Hard of Hearing people to live more independently by providing education and changing societal attitudes. Raising awareness, initiating advocacy projects, implementing service provision, and promoting sustainable initiatives form part of the Trust’s approach to achieving its goals.