Silent dialogues

tours, videos and integrated readings in two languages (Italian and Italian sign language) designed for audiences both with and without impaired hearing


You can read a book or visit an exhibition simply by listening to your hands. All you have to do is change your point of view and look at reality through new eyes! A series of encounters helps us to discover just how fascinating and expressive it can be to use sign language, with its silent gestures that actually speak volumes, as we discover and learn some sign language words and experiment with a new way of communicating.

Silent Dialogues is a scheme that was first developed in 2015 to attract everyone to culture in all of its various forms. During our tours and workshops we don't use sign language simply as a tool for translating or for making speech accessible to those with impaired hearing, but as an original tool of education and mediation for every kind of audience: grown-ups, children, people with impaired hearing and people without.

This wealth of experience and the fact that we cannot meet up physically during the pandemic have spawned videos and columns in sign language, a product of the Art Workshop's cooperation with the ENS-Ente Nazionale Sordi who have set up a working team comprising museum educators, sign language interpreters, deaf educators and deaf art historians. The result is a series of short, clear videos designed for younger audiences, in which the Art Workshop's boundless enthusiasm for illustration and the graphic quality of the image meets and embraces the criteria that govern the use of sign language. In these videos the properties of a "visual" language are enhanced through graphic expedients that transform signs and expression into images, signifier into meaning, through visual and dynamic metaphors that materialise under our very eyes.

Each video inspired by an exhibition or a work of art at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni ends with an LIS Italian Sign Language column allowing viewers to focus on certain words and their respective signs which will all go to make up an animated dictionary that will grow over time and that can be consulted over and over again.