Please join us for the screening of A Love Letter to Penelope Cruizer as the first of four LADA Screens centred around the themes of voice, care and healing.
Caroline Williams’s short film is an ode to the mobility scooter the artist started using in 2021 after a year of struggling with Long Covid. Looking at the rage that is involved in being cared for, A Love Letter to Penelope Cruizer wrestles with the combination of grief and acceptance that comes up in long term illnesses. Who do you blame when it’s no one’s fault?
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Caroline and the co-director of the film Christina Hardinge. Caroline will also display ENTWINED, a quilt made over two years by people with Long Covid. While serenaded by the composer of the film Ed Dowie, the audience are invited to make their own pom-poms to add to the fringe of ‘protective pom-poms’ around the quilt. The event is a chance to gather, use our hands, and feel a sense of solidarity and community in the often lonely challenge of living with post-viral conditions.
We kindly ask you to wear a mask during this event. You can find more access information below.
A Love Letter to Penelope Cruizer (2021) was made a year into Caroline’s struggle with Long Covid, when the condition was just starting to come into the medical vocabulary. The artist caught Covid in early March 2020 and didn’t get better. For years. In 2021, Caroline had finally accepted that her walking wasn’t going to increase quickly and that she was ultimately housebound. She spent some time on Google and spent all the money she had on a mobility scooter. She called her Penelope Cruizer. Caroline still remembers that first moment of being able to get outside on her own; it allowed her to finally have a bit of independence after so long. Caroline remembers weeping with joy when Penelope Cruizer enabled her to go to the shop on her own for the first time. This film is a playful love letter to that scooter. But really it is a love letter to Caroline’s partner who nursed her through that time, it is a thank you to them for sticking around in the hardest of times while Caroline struggled to come to terms with a long-term illness. At the end of the film, Caroline includes images of her friends who are part of the Disabled Ramblers group, whose spirit made her cope with the challenge of her own in-built ableism.
Following the screening, the film will be available to watch online until 21 February.
Caroline Williams is a maker working in multidisciplinary performance. Her work has ranged from a flash mob opera in the British Museum (Millions of Years, ENO) to a one-on-one installation-performance inside a cardboard box performed by migrants (Make Yourself At Home, Nuit Blanche Brussels). Her practice explores how the dramaturgy of reality can activate conventional theatrical forms. Caroline has a background in social and environmental activism, and her work is often in dialogue with current political issues, for example with the semantics of screens in relation to the war in Syria (Now Is the Time to Say Nothing, extensive touring 2018/19 MAYK); the multiple deaths in police custody in East London (You Do Not Have To Say Anything, The Yard Theatre); or the relationship between loneliness and technology (Can You Hear Me Now – British Council/ MAYK). She was one of the first Associate Artists of The Yard Theatre and part of the National Theatre’s Directors course in 2016. Her moving image work, Shakespeare’s Fools, was chosen by the V&A to represent the UK at the Prague Biennial. Caroline directed the standout show of Mayfest 2018 Now Is the Time To Say Nothing, an interactive documentary installation made in collaboration with Syrian filmmaker Reem Karssli; it received critical acclaim and toured extensively (EIF, Galway International Festival, V&A, Bristol Old Vic).
Since being unwell with Long Covid in 2020, Caroline has expanded her practice to include craft and filmmaking.more about Caroline's work
LADA Screens is a series of free, online screenings of seminal performance documentation, works to camera, short films/video and archival footage. It is part of Live Online, LADA’s dedicated space where you can watch short videos and films drawn from LADA’s Study Room or generated through our programmes and initiatives.
Each screening will be available to view for a limited time only, and will be launched with a live event at our space in Bethnal Green, London.
LADA Screens is curated by the Live Art Development Agency (LADA). LADA is a ‘Centre for Live Art’: a knowledge centre, a production centre for programmes and publications, a research centre setting artists and ideas in motion, and an online centre for digital experimentation, representation and dissemination.more about lada screens
We kindly ask the attendees of the event to wear masks to protect those who are disproportionately affected by the ongoing pandemic. We have a limited supply of disposable masks available at LADA but only while stocks last.
The film is captioned. This will be a rest friendly event. There will be yoga mats and some pillows in the space.
LADA and The Garrett Centre are wheelchair accessible by lift and provide gender inclusive bathrooms.
Should you have any particular requirements please email [email protected] and we will be happy to offer further support.
Performed and written by Caroline Williams
Co-directed by Caroline Williams and Christina Hardinge
A Love Letter to Penelope Cruizer (2021) was a Sudden Connections commission for Bristol Old Vic.
Banner image credit:
Caroline Williams, A Love Letter to Penelope Cruizer, 2021. Still from video.
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