We are so pleased to announce that Xiaoshu Alice Hu is confirmed to host SHIDFF 2018! And we express our gratitude to the Austrian Consulate General in Shanghai for their generous support and sponsorship to make this happen!
Xiaoshu Alice Hu is originally from Shanghai, where she attended Hongkou District School of the Deaf and earned her B.A. in Visual Arts at the University of Fine Arts, Shanghai. She then went on to earn her M.A. in Visual Arts at the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria in 2008. She is proficient in English, German, Chinese, International Sign, Chinese Sign Language, and Austrian Sign Language.
Based in Vienna, Austria’s cultural, political and economic center, Xiaoshu Alice Hu is an established deaf Visual Designer, Program Innovator and Actor. She is also celebrated for her work as a strong advocate for social inclusion as Program Innovator for MyAbility Social Enterprise Company based in Vienna. MyAbility is an innovative social business consultancy service providing solutions to companies for utilizing the potential of people with disabilities as both customers and employees by focusing on their skills and abilities and seeing past their disabilities.
Besides being a talented graphics designer, Xiaoshu Alice Hu is also a deaf hip-hop artist, stage performer, and sign language music video and live performance interpreter a stage actor and dancer. She has performed in such well-known productions as Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood in Austria and Germany. She was also one of the creative forces behind the innovative stage production of Signstorm by Vienna-based Japanese artist Michikazu Matsune. Signstorm is a crowd-pleasing performance in and about sign language and deafness that includes live performance as well as documentary film, music video, and talk show on stage with simultaneous spoken translation in English and German as well as written subtitles. With big and small stories, deaf and hard of hearing people educate the audience about deafness in order to make them think about communication barriers and translation processes.
Xiaoshu Alice Hu also made history as one of the pioneering International Sign Performers on the hugely popular Eurovision Song Contest, the world’s longest-running annual international TV song competition. Also broadcast in China, Eurovision has had viewing audiences of up to 600 million people internationally. When Vienna hosted Eurovision in 2015, the decision was taken to make the live performances and televised broadcasts more accessible to deaf and hearing-impaired audiences around the world. Xiaoshu Alice Hu was recruited to be one of the first International Sign Language Performers, shown together on split screens performing the semi-finalist and finalist songs alongside the original artists. Her acclaimed Eurovision performances demonstrated through her artistic talent that music should be socially inclusive to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
In addition to performing, Xiaoshu Alice Hu strongly encourages the next generation of deaf talent and has conducted international dance workshops for the deaf, created ‘Take a Break, Make a Film! Workshop’ for aspiring deaf filmmakers, and organized International Deaf Good Fellowship tours, including to North Korea.
No stranger to hosting large, international events, Xiaoshu Alice Hu was Master of Ceremonies and Moderator at a recent DeafNation World Deaf Expo in Las Vegas. Providing a central gathering where deaf, hard of hearing and hearing people can learn about cutting-edge technology, products and services while socializing and participating in fun, family-friendly activities, the World Deaf Expo was packed with activities great for all ages, entertainment, workshops, and booths filling large exhibition halls. Their free admission policy brings a diversity of attendees who can share deaf culture, needs, language, and information with each other and the wider hearing community. Over 1 million deaf people and hearing allies from 100 countries have attended DeafNation Expo events.
Xiaoshu Alice Hu is also a Chinese Translation Master for Signmark, the international deaf Finnish rap artist and the first deaf person in the world to land a recording deal with a major music label. Born to deaf parents and learning signing at an early age, Signmark (real name Marko Vuoriheimo) feels that society should not treat the deaf as disabled people but as a linguistic minority with their own culture and history.
Xiaoshu Alice Hu shares this view, and when she posted ‘Please don’t ignore our Deaf Mother Language – Chinese Sign Language’ on social media in 2016 on the UN’s International Mother Language Day, the post went viral.
Please come to SHIDFF 2018 to meet Xiaoshu Alice Hu in person. Witness a Chinese deaf woman who because of her artistic talent, willingness to take risks, hard work, personal warmth, and dedication to the deaf community has made her an international role model for us all.