After a long wait, ONE DAY is finally here

Originally appeared in Silent News, June 2001.

A little boy surprised by a kiss from a little girl. A woman signing “eat” to a white cat. Kids talking at lunch at school.

All these photographs appear in the much-awaited release of ONE DAY: Our View. Missy Keast, the creator of the project, says, “ONE DAY: Our View combines history and photography to document the deaf culture around the world in a single 24-hour period on May 1, 1997. This unique project consists of more than ten thousand pictures by over 300 amateur and professional photographers from five continents and thirty countries.”

This results in a unique thread of photographs. “The vision and observation skills of the deaf are highly developed, as they rely primarily on sight for communication, and the creative effort of ONE DAY showcases their unique perspectives,” Keast adds. “Through a wide-ranging array of photos, the book emphasizes the common threads that bind deaf people together, from Ethiopian schoolchildren to revered Australian nonagenarians, and gives a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the deaf worldwide.”

Keast had difficulty finding a publisher that would print the book. “I finally found an independent publisher who truly believed in my work and they know that my book is going to be very unique one,” she says. Many publishers mistakenly thought the deaf and hard of hearing market was small and did not see the financial worth. Keast says in an e-mail, “They were surprised when I said there are 28 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. Amazing!”

With the publication of the book finally underway, Keast is hoping this book will bring a simple message: that the deaf community is global, unique and has an innate unity. Her goal of making this book available is “to open the eyes of the world. It is a very powerful book because it is of a global-deaf community, which is rare because not many books have the global information or community in the photography book. Only newspapers try to have that every morning to touch the base of each important highlight of other countries: unfortunate wars or bad news. My book is not going to carry any bad news, only good and powerful information.”

Keast is a Los Angeles resident who is currently working on a one-woman show and does storytelling mainly at schools for deaf and hard of hearing children. She also says that she hopes to make an impact on these children with this book, in making them see that they are not the only deaf children in the whole world.

This book provides a powerful narration through pictures. As Keast says, “Take a look through the camera lens at this spellbinding view of our lives, through our eyes.”

ONE DAY is available for purchase from DeafBuy at www.deafbuy.com. A portion of the proceeds from this book will be directed towards the World Federation of the Deaf, headquartered in Finland.

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