Deaf Kazakh Gesture Singers Take First Place at International Competition

The House of Culture at the Kazakhstan Deaf Society made news at the recent international Singing Costa Brava competition in Spain.

Trio Birzhan Abdirashitov, Alina Alexeyeva and Aminam Usmanova

Trio Birzhan Abdirashitov, Alina Alexeyeva and Aminam Usmanova

The small Spanish town of Lloret de Mar eagerly awaited Kazakhstan’s delegation. Disabled participants took part in the festival for the first time in its history. The organising committee did not hesitate on making an admissions decision after viewing the group’s audition tapes. They wanted people from Kazakhstan with disabilities to take part in their festival.

Kazakhstan’s performers attracted great interest. During their recitals, the auditorium was overcrowded. The audience witnessed the group’s fascinating gesture singing for the first time.

A trio consisting of Birzhan Abdirashitov, Alina Alexeyeva and Aminam Usmanova sign sang. Although deprived of their hearing, the performers were extremely expressive and accurate in their rhythm and emotion. They captivated both the audience and jury to the point where they were awarded an unconditional first place.

“The audience’s reaction meant a lot to us. Today, we have once again proved that sign language is sometimes more eloquent than the loudest of words. A love story can be told quietly, gently and neatly, using precise gestures and a warm, deep look,” Zhazira Mulkibekova, manager of the Meyіrіmdі Yel Society of Disabled People said.

In the vocals category, the second place winners were blind artists Yerzhan Duysembiyev, Duman Zhakanbayev and Maria Lonshakova. The winners received diplomas, prizes and statuettes.

Artists from Armenia, Greece, Italy and Spain sat on the jury this year.

Support from Dariga Nazarbayeva,  Deputy Chairperson of the Mazhilis of the Parliament, and the Almaty Akimat (city administration) made the artists’ trip possible. Inspired by their victory, the artists have already begun filling out their applications for participation in upcoming international festivals.


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