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Artist celebrates carers in new film

A Manchester-based artist has made an autobiographical piece of digital theatre based on disabled people’s experiences during the pandemic.

The film was co-created by artist Katherine Hollinson and her sister Gemma, who is disabled. Commissioned by HOME, Manchester’s centre for international contemporary culture, the film “Would you care to…” explores Gemma’s life and the relationship between the sisters. The interactive film depicts the difficulties and frustrations of everyday life in a world that is mainly designed for able-bodied people, and the impact of the pandemic.

The piece also looks at the importance of human touch, and how the pandemic has shifted our personal relationships. Supported by funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and several other northern arts organisations, the 30-minute film was released on International Women’s Day, as an important nod to the 80% of non-medical health staff who are women.

Artist Katherine Hollinson commented:

Would you care to… has been a really personal project that has accompanied huge changes in both our lives. We hope it connects with lots of different people.

“As well as raising awareness around caring and receiving care, both Gemma and I wanted the film to give people a chance to stop and really think about those they care for; to take time out and even make a bookmark for them, but also to have a giggle, a sing-a-long, and a bit of respite from all we’ve been through over the last couple of years.”

Davinia Jokhi, of HOME, added:

“Almost a fifth of the working-age population of the UK is disabled, and with the onset of long-Covid, that number could well grow.

“Not only that but the pandemic has brought the topic of care into sharp focus, and we wanted to look at it not just in terms of residential care and sheltered housing, or hospitals, which is where much of the focus has been over recent years, but in people’s homes and in their real lives.

“We’re proud to host the film and hope “Would you care to… comforts and inspires in equal measure.”

To watch “Would you care to…”, visit: homemcr.org/production/would-you-care-to.