Review: Unlimited Festival (online)

Comprising the following shows in the free content online programme: Christopher Samuel: The Archive of an Unseen; CÂN Y COED: Rainforest Symphony; Jameisha Prescod: On Black Pain; Emily Beaney: Deviant

Living with disability is a constant throughout these pieces. There is no self-pity, just an honest exploration of where the human body fails to connect and console.

Samuel’s complex art installation (sadly no versions for phones is available) is full of rich images and videos. It is both political (his immediate ancestors are from the Windrush generation) and personal (this is one person’s lived experience).

In both Prescod and Beaney’s pieces, chronically pain is explored from a female perspective. Both are tied to the issues of what is accepted and acknowledged as “pain”.

The former is shorter (5 minutes), more grounded in immediate interview style; the latter (14 minutes) is more abstract in its construction but ends with a sense of belonging. Both explore medical opinons of the past and present.

The Rainforest Symphony is the longest of the films available, at nearly half an hour. In Cheryl Beer’s world of hearing aids and bionedical sound technology, the Welsh rainforests gain a voice.

All these pieces explore what is classed as normality, of the wider context of life growing up, and of the society we all exist in with disability and difference

All these pieces were part of the Southbank Centre Unlimited Festival for 2022.

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