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Deaf Artist’s National Anthem Interpretation Is Required Viewing for the Super Bowl 2020

2 minute read

While Demi Lovato earned high praise for her national anthem rendition at Super Bowl LIV Sunday, some eyes were elsewhere, as deaf artist Christine Sun Kim gave us a passionate American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation of the song.

Sun Kim performed both “The Star Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful” during the broadcast of the 100th annual Super Bowl. She not only demonstrated the words in ASL, but did an interpretive dance along with it before the San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs championship game kicked off. Many Twitter users commented on how entertaining and charismatic the performance was.

Sun Kim’s drawings have been featured at the 79th Whitney Biennial, and many of her pieces demonstrate what life is like living with deafness. Her performance was part of the NFL’s collaboration with the National Association of the Deaf.

The 39-year-old Berlin-based American artist told Artnews News she was “a bit stunned” to even be considered as a Super Bowl performer, but decided to accept because “representation matters a great deal to me, and I hope that seeing a Deaf person signing the anthem will bring attention to various issues that plague our community.”

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Write to Rachel E. Greenspan at rachel.greenspan@time.com