The Hermitage will supplement Russian Sign Language with a dozen terms on art

SAINT PETERSBURG, February 19. /then 24/. Specialists from the State of the Hermitage will introduce new art terms in sign language to facilitate understanding between guides and visitors. As the museum’s press service told Then24, this work is carried out under the inclusive direction of the International Youth Program Jeunesse. Museum in Z Language, which is implemented by the Hermitage in cooperation with partners from the Netherlands.

“Most art history terms do not have a generally accepted gesture and are reproduced using typing – describing words with gestures letter by letter. This, of course, complicates the perception of the museum and the art by the hearing impaired and the deaf. Work is underway to create and introduce new terms in sign language, which will allow the guide and visitors to speak more comfortably about the works of art in the museum’s collection. The new body of gestures “Ten Hermitage Words” will be included in the Hermitage Encyclopedia of Russian Sign Language Terms,” ​​the Hermitage press service reported.

As Irina Bagdasarova, curator of the Hermitage programme, explained to Then24, an expert group has been formed, including museum staff and inclusive education specialists, who are compiling a vocabulary of language terms signs.

“This is quite a laborious process, because each of the proposed terms requires initial testing, first with representatives of a small target group, and then on excursions and in social networks. Such practical work will show exactly what ten terms will be included in the Hermitage Encyclopedia, and today we are considering several possible directions for the introduction of new terms in sign language with a gesture,” Bagdasarova noted.

According to her, the conditionally named “image gesture” seems to be more accessible and easier to understand, conveying this or that human emotion, feeling, allegory, call to action. “For example, Jacob Jordaens’ Hermitage painting “The Feast of Cleopatra” (Flanders, 1653) shows the moment when the Queen of Egypt Cleopatra, wanting to impress her beloved Roman commander Mark Antony with wealth, lowers a pearl earring in a container to dissolve in vinegar. Mannery’s gesture of Cleopatra’s right hand is synonymous with pride and vanity – this gesture is well remembered and easily replicated on its own,” said explained the curator of the program.

Project participants plan to complete work on the formation of new terms by October 2022, when all areas of the youth program will be presented for full use in various areas of museum work. As Bagdasarova noted, the introduction of new terms into sign language will take place with a mandatory comparison with terms previously introduced into international usage. In the future, the question of the use of terms created at the Hermitage at the level of international professional communities will be discussed.

Generation Z Museum

“Museum in Z Language” is an innovative global international project of the State of the Hermitage aimed at developing museum practices for working with young people aged 17 to 28. The program revolves around the Contemporary Art Library of the Forum of the General Staff building of the Hermitage. . The partners of the project, launched in January, are the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Saint Petersburg, the Hermitage XXI Century Foundation and the Hermitage Amsterdam Exhibition Centre.

The program includes three blocks of projects. The first is educational, as part of which will take place at the Ermitage and online a cycle of creative encounters, conferences and exchanges for a young audience. The second block involves creating inclusive programs for Hermitage visitors, and the third is dedicated to developing the museum environment. This is a project to create a garden with artistic, compositional and botanical components based on works from the Hermitage collections.

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