“What makes Newham, Newham?”
“What was the most challenging moment during the first wave?”
“And what was your most beautiful?”
Exposure Newham is an evening of film, storytelling and music to remember the details of a truly extraordinary time, population and place.
In the Autumn of 2020 artist, the vacuum cleaner (James Leadbitter) filmed 47 of Newham’s health workers, from ward clarks to the medical director. He asked each individual a series of simple questions about their experiences of the first wave of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Filmed with one camera in an informal and honest way in James's studio, he learnt about the complexity of each health professional’s experiences. The challenges they faced, the compromises forced upon them and yet the beauty in caring for their patients and each other. He heard about the reality of how these workers coped (and didn’t) and how this compares to the official narrative of ‘heroes’ we hear so much about. Their stories reveal their moral struggles, resulting in mental health challenges and frustrations, but they also speak of their resilience in team work and peer support, and their hopes for the Newham community they serve.
the vacuum cleaner
In collaboration with Dr Emma Young, Dr Cecilia Wee and Newham’s Health Workers.
Design & Performance: Sascha Gilmour
Sound Design: Rhiannon Armstrong
Music Performance: New YVC
Audience Facilitation: Fox Irving
Lead Interview Producer and Assistant Editor: Becky Sumerling.
Interview Producer: Kai-Oi Joyce Yung.
Live Event Producer: Jesse Bateson with Beki Bateson and Stratford Circus.
Photographer: Nina Photography