Crafting Resistance: The Art of Chilean Political Prisoners is an oral history film examining how craftwork, made by political prisoners during their internment in the 1970s by the military regime led by General Pinochet, has contributed to the mental health and well-being of those involved, particularly following their exile to the UK. The film engages with important issues around forced migration, well-being and resistance, showing how even in the most extreme circumstances it is sometimes possible to exert a degree of agency and demonstrate resistance. Given the longevity of the Chilean experience, the film illustrates how people live with the aftermath of torture and incarceration.
The film is directed by Carmen Luz Parot and ex political prisoner, Gloria Miqueles and produced by Jasmine Gideon, Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at Birkbeck (firstname.lastname@example.org). The film was edited by Bea Moyes at the Derek Jarman Lab.
In 2018 I managed the project ‘Working River’, documenting the living history of London’s boatyards, from the Thames Barrier up to Teddington Lock. The project was run by the wonderful Thames Festival Trust, in partnership with the Museum of London, supported with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. To help make this project happen, 25 fantastic volunteers worked with me to interview 28 men and women who spent their lives working in, or with, London’s boatyards and shipyards. Ranging from aged 18 to 87 years old, we recorded their memories of these yards, their training and the development of their prolific boatbuilding skills, as well as the significant changes to this Thames industry during their working lives. 11 of the audio oral history interviews from this project have become part of the collections of the Museum of London, and another 15 are part of a film, made by Digital:Works, about this history. As part of the project we also had four exhibitions along the Thames, as part of Totally Thames festival 2017, attracting over 10,000 visitors to engage with this history. The project was recorded by contemporary photographer Hydar Dewachi, whose beautiful photographs captured the people and the yards today.
Many Lives of A Shield is a short film, directed by Dr Luciana Martins, produced & edited by Bea Moyes of the Derek Jarman Lab. The film came out of a research project, ‘Mobilising the Value of Biocultural Collections in Brazil’, supported by Newton Institutional Links and the British Council, and developed in partnership with Kew Archives and Botanical Collections, the Jardin Botanico do Rio de Janeiro, the Flora Foundation, Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), and Federacao das Organizacoes Indigenas do Rio Negro (FOIRN). This film was made possible with funding from Birkbeck University. From October 2017 until March 2018, the film was exhibited at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at Kew Gardens. The project also went onto win the 2018 Birkbeck Public Engagement Award.
A version of the film with Portuguese subtitles is available here.
Since 2014 I’ve been involved as a filmmaker with a series of workshops and events, originally organised by Professor Roger Kneebone and his team at Imperial College Hospital (ICCESS), engaging craftspeople, engineers, surgeons and scientists to exchange knowledge and expertise in their practices.
These remarkable series of engagements have happened at the Art Worker’s Guild, culminating in the event ‘Thinking with your Hands’ in April 2016, which brought together a wide variety of practitioners (including lacemakers, colorectal surgeons, woodworkers, dentists, jewellers and plastic surgeons) to discuss and demonstrate their skills. The event also drew a large audience to discuss the necessities of tactile knowledge as crucial elements of education for the modern world, and as a stand against the current political devaluation of craft in the state curriculum.
Here are a small selection of the videos I’ve been working on with these teams, which engage with different elements that have been provoked by these workshops and events.
A short film I’ve produced, written and directed by Eddie Bolger, is being screened as part of the East End Film Festival 2016 , on June 24th, Genesis Cinema in Mile End at 6.30pm.
The film is a black deadpan comedy, following the hapless Mike as he heads off to Norfolk to meet his girlfriend’s father for the first time. He’s hoping to make a good impression, but things don’t go entirely to plan. The two men clash at the breakfast table over their opposing philosophies on life, food and digestion. A battle of guts ensues..
Find out more about the film, cast and production team on our facebook page.
Working with my great friend, midwife and activist Jodi Garrod (@DoulaParis) over the past few months, I had the pleasure of meeting and filming the remarkable Renata Rodrigues, at the birth of her daughter Ludmilla. This short film is intended as a document of one woman’s personal choice and voice about her own birth, and a document to the normalisation of a natural, unobstructed birth. My role as a filmmaker was to tell Renata’s story, and hopefully create a resource which can be used in educational context for other Midwives and mothers.