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Baseman, Jordan, 2017, Residency, Obey

Abstract or Description:

Disobey is a film that is a direct result of the Leverhulme and Arts Council funded residency at the University of Lincoln Schools of Law and College of Social Sciences, with the City of Lincoln.

Throughout my recent residency at the University of Lincoln Schools of Law and College of Social Sciences, I interviewed lawyers, criminologists and academics about their relationship with the law, asking them to consider their person and professional experiences and opinions, to define and explore their interpretation of the meaning of the words citizen, civil liberties, crime, criminality, free speech and the law.

My research was conducted between April 2015 to April 2016. During this time, I undertook extensive periods of both face-to-face interviews and archival research. The research was primarily carried out within the Law School, College of Social Sciences and the School of Fine and Performing Arts, as well as users of a drop-in centre for the homeless and unemployed, located at St Mary Le Wigford Church adjacent to Lincoln Station. Together with the University of Lincoln, we sought, and I was given ethical approval for the interview work from the School’s research ethics committee.

Alongside this research, I spent a considerable period of time looking at and identifying archive film material from the Media Archive for Central England (MACE) MACE, based at the University of Lincoln. MACE collects private and public film footage relating to the heritage and more contemporary life of the East and West Midlands. My focus was concentrated on the rejected editorial cuttings from television news footage, largely the civil unrest that occurred across Central England in the summer of 1981, with particular attention paid to a series of National Front Youth Marches throughout the 1980s. This material was recorded by Central News but never edited, nor broadcast. These archive films have provided some of the visual foundations for the film, Obey.

In total I recorded over 50 hours of interviews with 17 people, 3 people were interviewed twice and two interviewed three times. This research is the raw material from which the film Obey will be produced for presentation in a public venue in Lincoln in November 2017, as part of the celebrations on the 800th anniversary of Charter of the Forest. It is hoped that the work will subsequently tour to other cities in the UK and abroad.

The interviews themselves raised many interesting issues and the final film, Obey, will ask challenging questions about the construction of our current society, including the nature, function and value or our laws and legal systems and how they are understood, enacted and deployed today. Of particular note are considerations around our relationship to free speech, the rights of the individual and the nature of protest in a post-911, terror-aware, developed nation with a long history of social democracy and democratic processes that has been founded on the notion of free speech and the right of the individual.

The film itself, Obey (working title) features Jason Warr, a criminologist from the University of Lincoln. Jason’s heavily edited narration discusses the nature of free will for individuals and our individual and collective, social responsibility within the construct of our current legal system. In the film Obey, Jason calls for a re-ordering of society, a re-working of our existing practices and a recognition that we as a society need to change our behavior radically in order to create a society that is truly fair and just for all.

Disobey as a film will be exhibited in Lincoln in November 2017 and will tour to venues in the UK and abroad.

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
School or Centre: School of Fine Art
Funders: Leverhulme, Arts Council England
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2016 18:48
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2016 18:48
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/2091

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