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  • Writer's pictureMadeleina Kay

Dare to Care - 'Ways of Healing' Documentary

I religiously filmed / photographed everything for the three days I was in Bologna with my art collective, Dare to Care, promising to edit a short documentary overview of our public programme 'Ways of Healing' as part of 'The Vibrant Mind’ exhibition by GAMIAN Europe.

These days felt precious – I haven’t seen any of the other members of my collective since we first met, during a 10-day forum, Destructura, in Tallinn in 2022. The others participated in a residency in Helsinki last year, but I was ineligible for the EU mobility funding they were awarded, grâce à Brexit.

We have otherwise been working exclusively online, through Whatsapp and Google Meet; conducting and publishing interviews, organising a collab with Mental Health Europe and internal research on the topic of mental health care in the arts. It’s not always been easy, we’ve had a couple of the original members drop out – and existing members (including myself) having to take temporary breaks from the work which is entirely unpaid. But I think we all value the connection and sense of community we have together – or, at least, I do.

So, I wanted to document the experience of working with them – for our own records, but also so that we would have some evidence of our collaboration for our social media and website. I decided that I would film footage (in landscape orientation) to create a short documentary, which we could use for future funding applications. Here it is:

It took me about a day to review all the footage (which I did properly this time) and to compile the edit – there was lots of great stuff I wanted to include, which came in around ten minutes. I sent a draft version to our WhatsApp group with the following message:

“Hello lovelies, i’ve just made a first draft of the “documentary”. A few points:

•⁠  ⁠I think it’s worth having “two versions” - a 10 minute version that’s more of a documentary (for our own records) and a very short 2 minute version that’s more of a “promotional video” we can send to possible funders.

•⁠  ⁠⁠The squeaky floorboards in Adiacenze were a nightmare and have affected the sound a lot - I tried to adjust sound levels to reduce the worst but it’s still not great… 😕

•⁠  ⁠⁠Kristyna was swearing a lot in her workshop 😂 I think it’s okay for the long version but maybe we cut from the promotional video?

•⁠  ⁠⁠The uploaded draft (unlisted on YouTube) is exported as a lower quality file than the final version will be - just to save my computer some effort”

We collectively decided to cut out the clips with Kristyna’s potty-mouth – even though what she was saying was very powerful. And the others agreed with the suggestion of creating two versions (I have yet to make the shorter edit – which always requires nail biting levels of decision-making). After watching the video a couple more times myself, I went back into the edit and made some further improvements, before subtitling. I need to stop using i-movie to edit (especially for the documentary I am currently filming for my work on the YEUF project voter mobilisation campaign) because their subtitle options are shit. I tried to make them as visible as possible but it’s still not great.


The subtitling process took a few hours – I am quite fast at this task, but ten minutes is a long length to subtitle. Half way through I received a phone call from a professional documentary maker, who I have known since 2017 and collaborated with on a documentary ‘Postcards from the 48%’, who wanted to pick my brains about something he is currently working on. I mentioned I was currently mid-way through the tedious process of subtitling a video and he said that his company now use an AI software called Sonix which transcribes the subtitles with 80% accuracy, saving them loads of time. A reminder to myself: to check this out before I start editing the YEUF documentary - which will be event longer than this video.

My art collective have been really sweet, thanking me for the video - they all seem to be happy with it. Kristyna especially thanked me for taking so many photos of the group (as she doesn't have many pictures from projects she's worked on), both whilst we were delivering the activities but also when we were hanging out together. I appreciated this since I have been made to feel bad for "taking too many photos" by a certain someone who should have been kinder to me. I appreciate that it is partially a distraction task to help me cope with social anxiety, but I also love taking photos, sharing them with others and making photo books / albums - It brings me joy. And nobody has the right to take your joy away.

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