Deprivation of Liberty in the Shadows of the Institution: The movie!

As some of you know, I’ve recently written a book, entitled Deprivation of Liberty in the Shadows of the Institution (Bristol University Press, 2022) about the long long history and possible futures of social care detention (regulating community care living arrangements as a ‘deprivation of liberty’). Because the research is funded by Wellcome, you can actually download a free copy of the book here.

But… perhaps you’re not a book person, or you are short on time, or perhaps that rather dreary sounding summary of the book put you off reading it… so here is Deprivation of Liberty in the Shadows of the Institution: The Movie!

I am so immensely proud to share this collaboration between myself, the artist Grace Currie, and Viv and Chris at the film production company Helter Skelter. I wanted a film that could tell this rich and complicated (and sometimes quite technical story) in a way that was accessible for wider audiences. I also wanted to work with Grace specifically, because I’ve been really impressed by her work and – in her own words – her ‘neurodivergent view of the world’ – following a brain injury in 2017. This is how Grace describes her work:

[Grace’s] work often uses these challenges to challenge viewers, to reflect her resistance to the reductive label ‘disabled’ or the disorientating sense of fractured self 24/7 care engenders. She is inspired by artists who express inner feelings through portraiture (her recent starting point was Bacon’s ‘Screaming Pope’ series). Tschabalala Self’s work contributed to her understanding the powerful tension that childlike form in painting can create when themes are adult, sometimes sexualised.

Grace Currie

What I love about Grace’s work for this film is that it is by turns challenging, playful, questioning, powerful and moving. I love the ‘gilded cage’ imagery and the visual pun of a dolls house. We don’t talk about emotions and feelings in legal academia nearly as much as we should, and film and photography may be better mediums for conveying this than your average journal article. Grace is doing ongoing work on this theme which you can look at here.

Meanwhile Chris and Viv from Helter Skelter brought their own expertise, as filmmakers and documentary makers and in photography, to work on a script and format that could tell the story in an engaging and accessible way, without all the jargon and footnotes…

The film is funded from my Wellcome fellowship grant, and so can be distributed under a creative commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which means that you can take this film and use it (so long as you don’t modify it), for example in training, in workshops or events where you are discussing deprivation of liberty topics. Or just watch it and share it with people who might find it interesting. Enjoy!

Whilst I work out how to get videos onto the internet… you can also watch this film over on Grace’s own webpage and read more about our collaboration here.


3 thoughts on “Deprivation of Liberty in the Shadows of the Institution: The movie!

  1. Wow. As you know Lucy I have read your book – such an important read for me BUT this film is amazing. Short, powerful and so helpful in helping us all understand why we are ‘where we are’’. Love the questions at the end. Powerful. Thanks – will share far and wind and link in the new Supported Decision Making resource you’ve been working with us on!

  2. Pingback: Transduction – leading transformation – Issue #54 – chosen path

  3. Thank you!Just watched the film…excellent. Brilliantly illustrated and supremely narrated.Thought provoking. Indeed, I wonder how many people living in supported living or similar have a real choice about when they get up/what and when they eat. The realities of deprivation of liberty are not as written in many care plans… many people who need support to leave their home are not going out due to staff shortages. I am yet to read the book. 

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