Accessibility Links

Under My Tongue, Under My Hands

5m Short, Deaf and Disabled 2021

Performer/choreographer Elvin Lam takes as a launching off point a project directed by Belinda Locke, where anonymous individuals disclose hidden challenges in short written texts. Her title, ‘Under my Tongue,’ references the unspoken. Elvin Lam, an Auslan user, has added ‘Under my Hands; as his interpretation of the texts. Hands can also talk, and yet intimate things, whether spoken or signed, may not be fully heard or understood.

In this 5-minute video, Elvin performs as eight of the anonymous contributors – each responding to the same prompts and identifying different issues – in partial speech, partial sign, partial subtitles, and rich poetic Auslan elaborations that appear as dance-like rhythmical movements.

Elvin invites viewers with open hearts to strive to interpret secrets using non-linguistic cues, joining the dots and finding understanding even when access to a language is incomplete.


Elvin Lam


Elvin Lam


Belinda Locke


English with English Subtitles, Australian Sign Language



Download the app to view your purchased content!

Available on TV apps

ACMI acknowledges the Traditional Owners, the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation, on whose land we meet, share and work. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or text.