Anyone Like Me is a documentary project exploring the intersection of Deaf culture and America’s favorite pastime: football. The Gallaudet University Bison of Washington, D.C. are the world’s only collegiate deaf and hard of hearing football team. 90 percent of deaf and hard of hearing individuals are raised in families with no prior knowledge of American Sign Language or Deaf culture. This project follows coach Shelby Bean, 25, a Hard of Hearing man and former Bison team captain. Shelby, along with his players, say before they came to Gallaudet they shared the experience of marginalization for their perceived ‘disability,’ and sports was often the only place they ever felt normal. When Shelby came to Gallaudet as a freshman he didn’t know anything about Deaf culture or ASL, but through the football team he found his place within the culture and his Hard of Hearing identity.
This project will culminate in April 2017 with a gallery show in Washington, D.C. Elements on display will include a short documentary, prints, a website, and community engagement workshops. Please enjoy excerpts from the finished product here, or visit the full website.
Photography (click to enlarge)
This project was completed as coursework with the M.A. New Media Photojournalism program at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at the George Washington University. Special thanks to Shelby Bean, Katie Giles, Susan Sterner, Gabriela Bulisova, Bison Head Coach Chuck Goldstein & the Bison football team.