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Collection of Arnaud Balard artwork

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITDSA-0092

Scope and Contents

Collection of Arnaud Balard artwork contains a "Le Surdisme" manifesto by Arnaud Balard-a treatise on a deaf art movement, The Abbot Welcoming lightbox 2.5' x 1.5' which depicts a caricature of L'Abbe de L'Epee surrounded by hands. There is also an enamel lapel pin of the same design. Balard also designed a Deaf Union Flag on an enamel tile, lapel pin and an actual fabric flag. The collection also includes ten Handsbird lapel pins in black, blue, red, white/gold, pink, hot pink, yellow, white/silver, mint green.


  • Creation: 2013


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Arnaud Balard is a French Deaf-blind Artist born in 1971. He created the Surdism Art Movement in 2009 in Brussels. He wrote a manifesto to propose artistic exchanges on all Deaf subjects and experiences. Identity, History, Bilingualism, Biculturalism, Audism and Deafhood, all expressed by the emergence of a Deaf Art, is the goal of Surdism.

When asked why he designed a flag for the Deaf, Balard explains that finding a Deaf flag in a crowd one would instantly know there are other people like you who will accept you as you are. You instantly know you would find sign language, or at least someone who knows how to communicate with you. The fundamental aim of having a flag is saying with sign language: WE ARE, WE CAN, and WE WILL. It took him two years of studying flags from all over the globe to imagine the Deaf Union flag. It was approved by the Deaf French National Federation in May 2014. The colors used in the flag; turquoise represents how the Deaf community cherishes Sign Language; yellow symbolizes light, hope, knowledge, and enlightenment; dark blue indicates Deafhood, an individual and collective journey to combat audism and embrace Deaf gain. Dark blue is also the color used by the World Federation of the Deaf.


3.25 Linear Feet (1 half document box and custom box made for the flag.)




Collection of Arnaud Balard artwork includes a light box designed by Balard, and a label pin of the same design; an enamel tile and a lapel pin of the Deaf Union flag; as well as an actual flag. Also included are ten "handsbird" lapel pins.


The collection is arranged by item type.

Physical Location

C.S. North, Shelf 231
C.S. North, Shelf 228 - Union flag

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection of Arnaud Balard artwork was purchased for the Deaf Studies Archive by the NTID librarian, Joan Naturale. Accession number(s): RITDSA.0092


The "Abbot Welcoming" lightbox measures 2.5' x 1.5'.
"The Abbot Welcoming" pin is 1.5 inches.
"Deaf Union Flag" enamel tile is approximately 2 x 4 inches.
"Deaf Union Flag" fabric flag in white and blue 100 x 150 inches.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in December 2013.

Collection of Arnaud Balard artwork
RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive
Jody Sidlauskas
13 December 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA