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BassBath presents an immersive clubbing experience for deaf and hearing people

In May 2024, Shanghai techno club Heim hosted Bassbath, an inclusive clubbing experience geared towards individuals with hearing impairments. Created by curatorial collective Transparent Afternoon, the event was organized by a team comprised of both hearing and deaf members.

The club night saw music augmented with visuals and vibrations, while artists and advocates led activities designed to connect hearing and deaf partygoers, such as a sign language crash course and a sign language rap performance. And as the event's organizers point out, there's an equalizing effect when music is booming — it's too loud to talk, "so we express ourselves with body language." With plans for future events, BassBath aims to create a vibrant movement for the deaf community and its allies.

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Innovations promoting inclusivity often narrow their focus to a specific underserved group. Just a few weeks ago, we discussed how Tencent’s Barrier-Free Theater makes movies more accessible to blind people. BassBath demonstrates that there's also value in opening up the party to everyone — to raise awareness of other lived realities, encourage empathy and invite allies to be part of the solution. True inclusivity means all are involved.