Enjoying BassBath: Shanghai’s Deaf-friendly Club Experience

The party series from curatorial collective Transparent Afternoon aims to make nightlife more accessible

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4:38 PM HKT, Tue May 28, 2024 1 mins read

On May 12th, Shanghai played host to a unique event focused on promoting inclusivity and accessibility in nightlife. Organized under the banner of BassBath, the party welcomed the deaf community to the techno club Heim. Initiated by vis and Jia (胖丁) from the innovative curatorial collective Transparent Afternoon (透明的下午), BassBath is now a collaboration with Alice Hu (胡晓姝) and Eva Lou (一娃). The diverse organizational team, including both hearing and deaf members, crafted a vibrant and accessible clubbing experience to connect deaf and hearing individuals in a public, light-hearted manner.

ordering drink

A looped video tutorial on ordering drinks through sign language. Photo by Mia Fan.

The evening commenced with a lively ice-breaking session at 7:00 PM, providing the opportunity for deaf and hearing attendees to interact with one another. At 7:30 pm Alice Hu, a deaf artist and advocate, engaged participants in a specially designed interactive game that fostered non-verbal interaction.

Following Alice’s game, Xumin (徐珉), a celebrated deaf rapper, gave a sign language rap performance and taught the crowd some basic sign language. A professional sign language interpreter was on site to facilitate seamless communication between deaf and hearing participants throughout the night.

Deaf clubbing is a relatively new concept. Since 2020, there has been an increase in deaf community-friendly music festivals and DJ workshops. The Deaf Rave Festival 2021, which Xumin also participated in, brought together deaf artists from diverse backgrounds to conduct a live stream during a Covid-19 lockdown, attracting more than 15,000 views.

As one of China’s pioneering deaf clubbing experiences, BassBath continues to prioritize visuals to help build an inclusive environment. Despite how loud sound waves can pose a challenge for communication, clubbing becomes a unique space for togetherness. Transparent Afternoon’s founders envision BassBath as a recurring series, with plans underway for future events at various venues. In the meantime, members of the deaf and hearing communities who connected at Heim are already forging friendships and sharing updates on other inclusive events in Shanghai through a BassBath group chat.


Partygoers at BassBath. Photo by “Tracy.”

For more information on future BassBath events, follow the WeChat official account “透明的下午 transparentafternoon” or the Instagram account @transparent_afternoon.

Banner photo by “Tracy.”

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Pour yourself a stiff one, we'll be with you in a mi