On September 22nd I will be presenting a paper at the 'In the Mainstream' conference at De Montfort University, Leicester, organised by The MeCCSA Disability Studies Network.
The conference aims to re-visit and re-evaluate the complex issues at stake in contemporary representations of disability and impairment from a variety of critical perspectives, investigating both continuities and new trends in representing disability
My presentation will be on my experience as both a ‘mad’ filmmaker and a ‘mad’ documentary subject. This unique position has made me sensitive to how documentary-makers use ethics and objectivity in their films, because time and time again in broadcast media I have been squashed into a box of their preconceptions and prejudices, and the essence of who I am is lost.
And as a film-maker making films about mental health, where it isn’t to be pitied, feared, or used to alienate, scare, and antagonize, I have come up against ignorance and hostility from commissioners and other film-makers, who think I am exhibiting ‘symptoms’ of mental illness by saying that there are other ways to view mental distress and difference than the medical model. It has definitely been an interesting experience. I would also like to touch upon Mad Culture.
As a mad person, am I one-dimensional, visually different, soulless, with only evil in my heart? Am I person to be feared? To be pitied? To be laughed at? Am I not allowed to be loved? Am I not allowed to be sexy? I want to be represented on the screen as nothing less than who I am. Is it possible?
I graduated from Uni about a month ago, and said to myself, I am going to take a year off. But only two weeks into that resolve, I became bored and am productive again.
I am looking for work - and also creating work for myself. One of the ways I am doing that is to promote what I already love doing. So I have a lot of website and updating to do, like my artist website etc.
The first site that is nearly done is Ascend Mental Health Training and Consultancy. Check it out if you have the chance. I am going to add a blog to that website soon as well. If you have any ideas where I could promote the service, drop me a line, I would very much appreciate it.
Also am going to make all my websites more accessible - now I know how to do it!