Collection of Arnaud Balard artwork

RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive

Table of Contents

Collection Overview
Biographical Information for Arnaud Balard
Scope and Content
Subject Headings
Information for Researchers
Administrative Information

Collection Overview (Collapse)

Collection of Arnaud Balard artwork
Balard, Arnaud
Collection of Arnaud Balard artwork includes a light box designed by Balard with a label pin of the same design; an enamel tile and a lapel pin of the Deaf Union flag; as well as an actual flag. Also included are ten "handsbird" lapel pins.
3.25 Linear feet (1 half document box and custom box made for the flag.)
Dimensions note
The "Abbot Welcoming" lightbox measures 2.5' x 1.5 feet.
"The Abbot Welcoming" pin is 1.5 inches.
"Deaf Union Flag" enamel tile is approximately 2 x 4 inches.
"Deaf Union Flag" fabric flag in white and blue 100 x 150 inches.
C.S. North, Shelf 231
C.S. North, Shelf 228 - Union flag
RIT Archive Collections
RIT Libraries
Wallace Center
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York, 14623
(585) 475-2557

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Biographical Information for Arnaud Balard (Collapse)

Arnaud Balard is a French Deaf-blind Artist born in 1971. He created the Surdism Art Movement in 2009 in Brussels. He wrote a manifesto to propose artistic exchanges on all Deaf subjects and experiences. Identity, History, Bilingualism, Biculturalism, Audism and Deafhood, all expressed by the emergence of a Deaf Art, is the goal of Surdism.

When asked why he designed a flag for the Deaf, Balard explains that finding a Deaf flag in a crowd one would instantly know there are other people like you who will accept you as you are. You instantly know you would find sign language, or at least someone who knows how to communicate with you. The fundamental aim of having a flag is saying with sign language: WE ARE, WE CAN, and WE WILL. It took him two years of studying flags from all over the globe to imagine the Deaf Union flag. It was approved by the Deaf French National Federation in May 2014. The colors used in the flag; turquoise represents how the Deaf community cherishes Sign Language; yellow symbolizes light, hope, knowledge, and enlightenment; dark blue indicates Deafhood, an individual and collective journey to combat audism and embrace Deaf gain. Dark blue is also the color used by the World Federation of the Deaf.

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Scope and Content (Collapse)

Collection of Arnaud Balard artwork contains a "Le Surdisme" manifesto by Arnaud Balard a treatise on a deaf art movement, The Abbot Welcoming lightbox 2.5' x 1.5' which depicts a cartoon portrait of L'Ebbe de L'Epee surrounded by hands and an enamel lapel pin of the same design. Balard also designed a Deaf Union Flag on an enamel tile, lapel pin and an actual fabric flag. The collection also includes ten "Handsbird" lapel pins in black, blue, red, white/gold, pink, hot pink, yellow, white/silver, mint green.

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Arrangement (Collapse)

The collection is arranged by item type.

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Subject Headings (Collapse)

Personal Name(s)

  • Balard, Arnaud


  • Deaf artists


  • Ceramics (objects)
  • Flags
  • Lapel pins

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Information for Researchers (Collapse)

Preferred Citation

Collection of Arnaud Balard artwork, RIT Archive Collections

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open to researchers.

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Administrative Information (Collapse)

Collection ID


Accession Information

Collection of Arnaud Balard artwork was purchased for the Deaf Studies Archive by the NTID librarian, Joan Naturale. Accession number(s): RITDSA.0092

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in December 2013.

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