Tania Allan is a creative practitioner based in Midlothian. Born deaf, her first language is British Sign Language. She attained a zoology degree from the University of Edinburgh and a graduate diploma in BSL tuition from Heriot-Watt University. As of now, she is a part-time student at Edinburgh University studying Language Education for an MSc. Tania has subsequently worked in education in a variety of settings, including teaching BSL to adults and children, supporting hearing parents to communicate visually with their deaf infants, and providing educational support and role-modelling to deaf school children.
She has worked on various creative projects that aim to bridge the gap between different cultures and communities, including a site-specific storytelling project with Forestry and Land Scotland and the local Nepalese community. She also worked on a Deaf Heritage Collective project with Edinburgh Napier University. She is a member of the Alba Cats collective for deaf creatives in Scotland.
A creative storyteller, her passion is fusing cultures and worlds. The deaf and signing communities are linguistic, sensory, and cultural minorities, distinct from and yet native to the dominant ‘hearing’ society. At the porous boundary between culturally deaf and culturally hearing worlds, there has been a longstanding creative tradition in British Sign Language (BSL) of borrowing from the folklore of the dominant culture to explore deaf experiences with narrative tropes, motifs, and imagery. One such example is The Land and the Sea, an original performance piece by Tania, which presents the well-known selkie bride folk tale through a deaf lens.