Within Sound and Image
: The practice and theory of accessible filmmaking

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

This practice as research PhD, which consists of a film titled Within Sound and Image and this written thesis, seeks to develop the approach of accessible filmmaking in practice and theory, based on The Accessible Filmmaking Project. The project involved filmmaking workshops with people with dual/single sensory impairments and complex needs, and has developed in consultation with my supervisors William Brown and Pablo Romero-Fresco, and the national disability charity Sense, in line with the requirements of the British Film Institute Diversity Fund. The workshops were non-structured and experimental, so people could explore film on their own terms with space to create their own language, not necessarily defined by the contemporary capitalist cinematic world.
Our methodology offers a space for emerging subjectivities and I propose the mode of knowledge know-with, which has been crucial in terms of how knowledge has been produced. Furthermore, knowwith forms the basis of how we have become filmmakers and co- researchers, and how I have become an ally. As Anna Hickey-Moody (2015) writes, practice as research is the entanglement of different modes of knowledge that exist within academic research and creative practice. This way of thinking also shifts the definition of accessible filmmaking from improving access for marginalised people to improving access with marginalised people.
This research emerges with a perspective where access is holistic and reciprocal with space to
recognise and acknowledge the quality and value of difference, and challenge normative ways of doing things, and binary thinking, binaries such as practice and theory, failure and success, subject and object, disabled and non-disabled, inclusion and exclusion, and haptic and optic. Yet, ultimately, our film and this written thesis invite people to (re)think what access and inclusion is, what film is and what it does.
Date of Award14 Nov 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Roehampton
Sponsors Roehampton VC Scholarship & British Film Institute Diversity Fund for the Accessible Filmmaking Project
SupervisorDeborah Jermyn (Director of Studies) & Pablo Romero Fresco (Co-Supervisor)

Keywords

  • Accessible filmmaking
  • (film) phenomenology
  • non-cinema
  • essay-film
  • feminist (film) theory
  • disabled filmmakers
  • (critical) disability studies
  • single/dual sensory impairments
  • (film) philosophy
  • complex needs
  • media accessibility

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