Building Bridges and Creating Space for Deaf Artists

Emerging Company-in-Residence Supporter

June 11 at 6pm | The Cabaret | Free/PWYC

Emerging Company-in-Residence member Courage Bacchus is joined by Deaf artists Tamkya Bullen, Akio Maroon, and Thurga Kanagasekarampillai, for a raw and open discussion about the barriers they experience, and how they’re working to carve out space for themselves and their art.

Discussion in ASL.
Note: we have been unable to secure enough interpreters, so this event will only be in ASL. However, we will be recording the event and will have the video translated after the event. If you’d like to be notified when it is available, e-mail aidan@buddiesinbadtimes.com

photo by Katie Yealland from ReDefine Arts’ Inkling Symposium. Intersectional Stories event curated by Courage Bacchus (with panelists Dominique Ireland, Jay Goray, Nur Abdulle, Peter Owusu-Ansah, and Tamyka Bullen).

Tamyka Bullen

Image of artist Tamyka Bullen. They have long, dark curly hair, and a flower on their right temple. They wear glasses and are smiling at the camera.

Tamyka Bullen has been involved in social services for women, immigrants, youths, and the LGBTQA community for many years. In 2015 she became involved in the theatrical world as an ASL poetry performer. In 2018, she debuted as an actress for the Sound Off Festival production Deaf That! and Judith Thompson’s play After the Blackout.  She loves to craft and mingle stories, arts, poems, acting, and dance on stage, and to voice her feelings and thoughts through her hands, body language, and facial expressions. Her motto: Embrace Yourself, Show Yourself!

You can see her ASL poetry videos from https://starrygirl45.wixsite.com/website.

Akio Maroon

Akio Maroon is a dedicated Single Mother, an Educator, and an International Human Rights Advocate who identifies as a queer, gender-fluid Black person. Akio has spent just over 11 years employed in the field of Occupation Health & Safety and 14 years in Human Rights Advocacy.

As a passionate Community Organizer who has been a powerful and consistent voice on the topics of Consent Culture, Black Liberation, Equality, Workers & Sex Professionals Rights and Violence Against Women. For three years Akio was a driving force (until the Ford administration) on Ontario’s Permanent Roundtable on Violence Against Women providing innovative policy advice to the government on ongoing and emerging gender-based violence issues and assisting in the implementation of the It’s Never Ok Action Plan

Akio Maroon is the past Co-chair of Pride Toronto Executive board and former chair of Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project; the founding Director of the Toronto Childcare Collective (TCC) an organization that supports the participation of parents, in racial socioeconomic and justice work, and the founding Director of Grind Toronto – Toronto’s only sex positive movement for Black, Indigenous folks and People of Colour that celebrates safer sex and promotes consent culture.

Thurga Kanagasekarampillai

Thurga Kanagasekarampillai is Tamil Deaf Non-Binary Queer Femme artist. She has worked as Deaf Interpreter and ASL performer with Cahoots Theatre for “The Enchanted Loom” (2016); Red Dress Production for “Drift Seeds” (2017) as ASL performer; Million Billion Pieces (YTP 2019); The Holy Gasp (July 2020); Speculation (2018, 2019, 2021). She is also an actress and was in ‘The Tempest’ at Citadel Theatre as Miranda in Edmonton in April – May 2019. She is the one of three founders of Deafies’ Unique Time with Ali Saeedi, and Ralitsa Rodriguez. Deafies’ Unique Time – ‘Eye So Twisted’ (Rhubarb Festival / Sound Off Festival 2019), Deafies Detective Agency (Sound Off Festival 2020) & Ministry of Mundane Mysteries with Outside the March (Sound Off Festival 2021.) She completed the 6 week of theatre work with Zuppa Theatre for ‘At This Hour’ in Halifax, NS in November/December 2021.

Queer Pride Festival 2022


By Gay AF Comedy & Rushzilla Productions

June 10