“Die Geschichte vom Daumenlutscher” / “The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb”

Weh ! Jetzt geht es klipp und klapp
Mit der Scher’ die Daumen ab,
Mit der großen scharfen Scher’ !
Hei ! Da schreit der Konrad sehr.

Snip! Snap! Snip! the scissors go;
And Conrad cries out ‘Oh! Oh! Oh!’

Facing disparagement and the threat of violence because of how she communicates, the protagonist of “Konrad” is a Deaf person defending her very means of expression. Devised in collaboration with Deaf dance artist Anna Seymour, this reimagining of the notoriously grisly “The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb” offers a glimpse into the frustration and resilience of those using sign language in an ableist world. Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s casual dismissal of sign language looms large over Konrad as she battles for respect and the right to communicate unconditionally. Even within the walls of her home, Konrad slams up against impossible expectations for her to speak without her hands. Filmed in Berlin with a silent sound score, “Konrad” asks us to envision how we might react if we were denied the ability to express ourselves.

5 minutes, 17 seconds
Filmed in Berlin, Germany

Choreographer/Director: Sameena Mitta
Videographer/Video Editor: Alicja Hoppel
Performer: Anna Seymour
Costume Designer: Sarah Timberlake