They make music and form a peculiar duo. The first sings, but the second does not play the guitar or the drums or the bass. Both go to the stage decided and with firm step. The vocalist can partially hide behind the microphone, however, her partner does not. She confronts the audience with her hands, which are her instrument. They are his way of expressing himself without words, of feeling, of giving voice to total silence. They are the ones that allow you to get the music to those who can not hear. The first is Rozalén, the second is Beatriz Romero. They are a well-oiled machine, the chemistry between them is undeniable. They are a whole, nobody imagines a concert of Rozalén without Beatriz. Because "Sunflowers", "Eating kisses" and "Live" are not only heard: they are also seen.
And it is that, almost without wanting it, Beatriz has become the symbol of the demands of the deaf people, a collective that wants to raise their hands to be seen. They also want to live music and thanks to people like her they can do it. "I try not to think too much, it's a very big responsibility. Seeing deaf and hearing people enjoying together and at the same time a show is very exciting. In some concerts I see them signing with me in the songs, even in other countries. I try to be as visual as possible and use all the resources to be the most understandable, "he explains to LA RAZÓN. Their collaboration was born by chance in a field awareness course in Bolivia. What began as something exceptional ended with Beatriz asking for a leave of absence "from the work of my life (sign language interpreter in education) to dedicate myself completely to the work of my dreams".
To transmit the essence of music you must first feel it and that is why Beatriz makes the songs of Rozalén a bit of his. «I do a job of analyzing the form, the content ... I am lucky to be able to ask him what he means by his letters. There are many ways to express an idea, I try to do '' poetic justice '' to what you want to convey. To find the most visual, faithful and artistic way that gathers and reflects the most nuances of the song and the singer, "he explains. In fact, although he does not know sign language, once Rozalén has corrected some gesture. «It incorporates some signs as a choreography. Sometimes consciously and sometimes naturally. It is one of our stamps, "he emphasizes. According to him, that connection between them and also with the public has encouraged many to want to learn sign language.
With these small steps forward, the visibility of the collective has been increasing in recent years. Leaving aside the ideologies, Michelle Bolsonaro, the wife of the far-right Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro, is another example of normalization: at the inauguration of the ex-soldier, the First Lady chose the sign language to give her speech. In practice, these are only small gestures and that is why those on foot remember that there is still a long way to go. "Having interpreters in Congress or in the Assembly is very nice, very politically correct. But you have to put resources for the day to day of the deaf people », laments Gloria Fernández Lijó, one of the people in charge of the Sign Language courses taught by Idiomas Complutense in Madrid. «Problems in education are repeated every year; for example, deaf people without interpreter in the classrooms during months or with the teaching hours without covering. Right now there are colleagues in the Community of Madrid without collecting several payrolls, "adds Beatriz. So, why do you continue to dedicate yourself to it? Everyone agrees that sign language engages. You only need to share a few minutes of conversation with Gloria to know that your profession is passionate. He talks about this form of communication as a fundamental, even essential, part of his life. So much so that when you spend a few days away from your circle you need to stand in front of the mirror and communicate. Because that's what it's about, to end the communication barriers. She did not learn sign language as a child because her parents were deaf, as in many cases. She did it because she wanted to communicate with those who can not do it with her voice. Now it has become his vehicle of daily communication and comes out even more easily than words.
Its mission is to train the quarry. Because there is. He gets excited and in his eyes a spark of pride is sensed when he talks about his students. Currently, it has around fifty people and they are of varied profiles: they come from degrees such as Social Work, Pedagogy, Speech Therapy, but also Medicine and Law. He insists that sign language can be a good gateway to the world of work, since it stands as an alternative when it comes to differentiating itself from the rest. She herself tells of cases of alumni who have achieved a job thanks to the courses she taught. However, it is realistic, he does not expect the entire society to handle sign language perfectly, "but if we only knew a minimum ... I think it should be a compulsory subject in schools. In addition, children are like sponges and more with sign language, which is visual, gestural and spatial. We should learn from them, we should raise our heads », recalls Gloria.
In fact, it was at school that Beatriz "fell in love" with her: "I was an introverted and very expressive girl. I liked to approach the specific classroom for deaf students and tried to communicate with them ». Nor does it doubt when it comes to listing their claims. "The interpreters are poorly paid, poorly considered, we have nothing to hold on to. So much so that many interpreters can not make ends meet because we do not have subsidies or help from companies, "denounces. This enormously harms the collective, since its "independence, personality and privacy" is undermined: "They only want to be normal people, one more. It is not normal that because an interpreter does not put a deaf person has to go to the doctor with his son and that he finds out things that he should not know, "he regrets.
Lack of cultural content
Beatriz adds the challenge of improving access to cultural content: "Something curious is that they do not usually subtitle Spanish films because they are recorded in our language, so deaf people can not access Spanish cinema." What things are, precisely Beatriz is one of the best examples for Gloria. "You just have to see the face of amazement of the deaf children in the audience. It shows that they finally understand the songs. She interprets them, that is not achieved just by reading the lyrics, "she says. But there is another person that Gloria mentions even more affectionately than Beatriz: Mamen, her partner in Complutense Languages. She also knows sign language because it is her way of communicating: Mamen is deaf. Like Rozalén and Beatriz, they are a team, they learn from each other, they take care of each other and complement each other. Although they do not know each other personally, the four have something in common: they all communicate with their hands when, as Rozalén says in "La puerta violeta," they have "a lump in their throat that dirties their voice when they sing". His hands, which are the image of a fight that is not fought with the voice.