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Life:Moving: Digital Technology and Human Vulnerability: Towards an Ethical Film Praxis

Life:Moving is a collaboration between academics, a filmmaker and John Taylor Hospice.  The films that were produced by the project’s participants were shown as part of an exhibition at St Barnabas in Erdington on the 28th and 29th April 2017, curated by Lisa Metherell. The exhibition, like the research that underpins it, explores the power of film to communicate the meaningful and honest experiences of those affected by terminal illness.

Tablets and headphones at exhibition

Researchers

The project involved the film-maker Briony Campbell, alongside participants from John Taylor Hospice. The Principle Investigator was Dr Michele Aaron (UoB/UoWarwick), and the Co-Investigators included Dr Lisa Metherell (BCU), Dr Cath Lambert (UoWarwick) and Co-I Professor Russell Beale, Research Assistant Adrian Banting. We were joined by the Art Psychotherapist, Jed Jerwood (John Taylor Hospice). The exhibition was curated by Lisa Metherell.

Research background

The aim was to explore the power of digital film to communicate the meaningful and honest experiences of those affected by terminal illness.The filmmaker worked directly with participants from John Taylor Hospice to produce films about their experiences of living with terminal illness. The research team met at least monthly for the duration of the 6 month project to review the process, outcomes and any ethical issues arising. Towards the end of the filmmaking Lisa Metherell took a lead on designing and curating a public exhibition of the films and interpretive materials at St Barnabas, Erdington, Birmingham.

Research methods

The filmmaker Briony Campbellworked directly with participants from John Taylor Hospice to produce films about their experiences of living with terminal illness. The research team, of which I was part, met monthly for the duration of the 6 month project to review the process, outcomes and any ethical issues arising. Towards the end of the filmmaking I took a lead on designing and curating a public exhibition of the films and interpretive materials at St Barnabas, Erdington, Birmingham.

interactive table at exhibition

Research outcomes

The public exhibition set out to address and challenge existing knowledge around health, illness, death and dying. Given the sensitivity of the subject matter, one of the key contributions to knowledge and the field of research-led practice involved the co-production of ethical guidelines for creative practitioners working with vulnerable groups.Working collaboratively with other disciplines, the project has the potential to influence health practitioners and creative practitioners working with vulnerable people and/or in healthcare settings. It has also contributed to on-going discussions around ethical practice of relevance to university committees and researchers, especially in relation to  applied ethics and digital film-making.

See www.lifemoving.org 

All photos © Bryony Campbell.