The Finnish deaf artist released the world’s first sign language hip-hop DVD.
The Finnish rapper Signmark was in Bucharest on Tuesday for a lecture at the Cultural Centre (ICR) in Bucharest, at the invitation of ICR and the Embassy of Finland in Bucharest.
Signmark is touring schools, Polytechnics and Universities in Finland and abroad. They want to spread the word that anyone can achieve anything they want if only they believe in their dreams and pursue them regardless of people telling you, you can’t. Their mission is to build bridges counter act prejudice and take a stand for equality. The artist has a business concentrating on education, sign language TV-programs, consultation and campaigns.
With the help from his friends and a large group of volunteers, Signmark released the world’s first sign language hip-hop DVD in 2006. The album “Signmark” takes a stand for equality and aims to bring people together. The debut broke prejudices and awakened people. The live shows are always bilingual and inclusive for a varied crowd. The songs are performed with American Sign Language and spoken English.
Signmark’s career as an artist started with translating Christmas carols to sign language so the whole family could sing together. He wanted to bring his hearing grandparents and deaf parents together through music. Signmark says about the new album: “There’s still a lot of people that need to come together like my family did.”
Signmark was invited to perform live and share his story in Hong Kong January 2010 in a forum that aims to inspire the young generation to thing big and open their minds to possibilities and opportunities in a global economy under the topic “Change We Can”. Their vision is to groom a new generation of young people who are creative, cosmopolitan, collaborative and empathetic, and who can communicate and create change personally, economically and socially. The Finnish consulate was organizing and collaborating with this project that brought together four different organizations and six different languages in Hong Long.
Signmark says: “Your dreams are waiting to come true, start now, don’t wait until tomorrow.”
The conference was attended by the Finnish Ambassador, Ms Ulla Väistö, the vice-president of ICR. Mr. Mihály Zoltán Nagy and Ms. Daniela Estera Juravlea, director in the Labour Ministry as well as representatives of the association of deaf people and schools, Sense International Romania and Light into Europe Charity.
Signmark has performed all around the world, in 33 countries so far, for example in Ethiopia, Iceland, Spain, Japan, Brazil and USA. TV documentaries have been made about him in Germany, France and Hungary among other places.
Signmark’s unique and original work has not been unnoticed; several contemporary cultural organizations have praised him and e.g. he won The Outstanding Young Person of the World 2009 prize.
With his music and positive approach the artist wants to change attitudes towards being different. For that work Signmark has teamed up with a group of likeminded artists to collaborate. Appreciating diversity is exceedingly important in today’s increasingly multicultural world.