Sunday, 20 February 2011

the right to speak

Having seen Susan Hiller at the Tate yesterday I have been a little preoccupied with words and language today. One of the differences between my home and that of the local Leonard Cheshire Home is that there are a lot of signs around the building, for example labels on cupboards and safety signs. Most of us can see to read them. But what if you couldn't read out loud? One of the residents has aphasia ( the inability to communicate verbally ). He understands perfectly and has to communicate with nods and facial expressions. I was humbled by my inability to have a meaningful conversation with him. He carried in his pocket a small laminated book that enables him to spell out words; how many of us have the time and patience to sit and listen to someone speak by spelling out each letter of each word by pointing at the card? He is a young man, rendered speechless by disease.
I shall explore the use of the written word further, as it seems to be becoming important.

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