This is IS
“International Sign Unpacked” is episode one of the ethnographic film series “This is IS”. It explores what International Sign (IS) is, and how its use changes over time in a group of people. The focus of this first episode is on deaf youth from South-Korea, Jordan, Brazil, USA, Spain, Ireland, The Netherlands and other countries, who travel to Denmark to participate in an educational programme called “Frontrunners”. The programme includes teaching on themes such as deaf advocacy and sign language media. While the programme is taught in IS, the students arrive with varying fluencies in IS. The first half of the film shows the newly arrived students and their teachers “calibrating” (adapting) their signing to each other. In the second half of the film, the group is revisited eight months later, and we learn how their signing has changed, as well as their thoughts about International Sign.