The project is already available on the YouTube channel. Amazons in Pounds the first webseries fully presented in Brazilian Sign Language (Libras). Divided into four episodes, the audiovisual production Amazonas em Libras is dedicated to the deaf community and presents the state of the North Region based on the role of Libras. The material can also be seen at Instagram. The launch took place on the last day 6.
Directed by journalist and cultural producer, Natália Lucas, and by scholar of Letters Libras from the Federal University of Amazonas (Ufam) and member of the deaf community, Ednilton Barreto, the webseries presents the tourist, gastronomic and cultural richness of the Amazon. The project received the Feliciano Lana award, with resources from the Aldir Blanc Law, promoted by the Amazonas State Secretariat for Culture and Creative Economy, with support from the Ministry of Tourism.
For Natália Lucas, the work was very well received by the deaf. He recalled that the deaf community, faced with the hearing culture, is always represented in the background, through subtitles or interpretation windows in sign language. “Following the deaf by watching the episodes, interacting with the content, is gratifying. They recognize the language and receive information in the best way. Furthermore, we realized that they are learning new things”. Natália also said that this is the first time that an audiovisual product is produced entirely in Amazonas, using Libras as its main language.
For Julyana Martins, deaf, the amount of information available in the audiovisual surprised her. “Whenever we have access to information in cultural spaces, in Amazonas, it is limited, summarized. If I go to a museum, for example, and I’m curious, I can’t find out more about it; there’s always someone who explains something to me in a nutshell. Within my family, the information is also summarized”, he lamented.
Although it was produced to primarily serve the deaf public, the webseries he did not forget the listening population, who can follow the exhibition, with narration and subtitles in Portuguese.
The concern was also to insert the deaf into the audiovisual universe. For this reason, one of the directors is a deaf person. Ednilton Barreto said the experience was enriching. “I was able to learn more about the work of other audiovisual professionals and also learn from them. But the main thing was being able to act putting Libras as the protagonist. Thinking about the best way to convey information respecting sign language was very important”, he observed.
Natália’s idea, postponed by the covid-19 pandemic, is to include the deaf in audiovisual productions. “Our desire is to get resources for a second season and from then on include training workshops for the deaf. We want to insert this audience into audiovisual productions”, he stated.
About 5.8% of the Brazilian population has some degree of hearing loss, according to the latest census by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), in 2010. In Amazonas alone, about 150 thousand people are deaf.