Self Sufficiency / The idea that you are working things out alone
Raising a Resister
The content of the video is based on certain texts that I have been working on and have been reading, which reflect my interest in a feminist, psychological and philosophical language, in the video it is spoken through an actors voice. I have used video material gleaned from the Lambeth Womens Project in addition to new video that I shot. I worked closely with Marina Vishmidt who appears in the video, and performs the voiceover and edited the video with me in her character. It is almost like there are several versions of this video that could be made, so I am still working on that premise, I am still making other versions.
The Script of
Raising a Resister by Emma Hedditch
C = Carol played by
There is some music
that is quiet and melodic. Pictures of girls at around 11 and 12 years,
in clothes that are the kind you wear when you mostly wear a school uniform,
but for some evenings and weekends you chose your own clothes, from a
C. Look thats
me there, there I am with the Brown Hair.
C. No there I am,
him, no there were no hims.
C. Really (Coughs)
C. At home...yes I
still get a rash, but it is only...I think because I insist on washing
with really hot water...
C. Sorry...I forgot,
hmm...but there were no hims. Colour pictures of the same girls, climbing
a climbing wall. Other girls are watching from the ground wearing thin
C. Its odd because
I am sure I was...I mean I really remember looking up at that larger woman,
and the smaller woman there with the harness, with the glasses. You see
I think I was there but I am not on the picture...I was watching from
behind the woman there on the bench thats me. There behind her...I
remember looking up at the climbing wall, and the helmet I was wearing
seemed really heavy.
Black and white photos
of four Asian girls on a beach collecting shells, Its windy.
C. And the sweater
there that she is wearing, she had it because it complemented her figure...it
helped to emphasise the top part of her body. It was never that cold...it
was raining a lot, they actually showed us a marker for the water level
in the river.
C. You mean strong
physically...? Well I am good at sustained walking, endurance, you know
long distance walks, but not at lifting things. I could walk for miles
though, I am good at pacing myself...a beginner and an ender. But no not
lifting, the helmet was heavy it made my head pull over the way.
C. No I cant
Black and white photos
of two older women, in between them are two younger girls, it is like
they are superimposed over one another.
C. Sorry...not the
leader, you see her, Margaret, she was the leader. I dont really
think of myself...alone...more as part of a team...not at all, it would
be hard for me...but physically, no I dont think I could do some
things. I mean I can do this for example (there is a pause and a shuffling
noise, and perhaps a grunt) There is quite a lot of lateral movement there,
with the left arm which sort of balances the rest of my body, it basically
stops me from falling over...and it also really helps with pointing towards
the direction that the ball is actually going to move.
There is a video sequence
of an older woman shot from a distance in the park from behind. The park
is a wide expanse of grass. The woman has a number of dogs, some are larger
than others, one in particular is very small. She is wearing a big green
jacket and the dogs are all running around her, occasionally she throws
a twig or something and they run off but they always come back and she
lets them individually lick her fingers. It cuts to pink blossom
on a tree, and then to a cat in a doorway, licking the floor, and then
another cat with a dark shadow.
C. What body? I mean
which part of the body, the foot, leg, arms...the whole thing? Its
there, I mean I know its there, I could see my shadow, only I dont
feel it, I dont feel it at any particular time of the day, whether
there is a shadow or not.
We are in a Gymnasium,
in front with her back to us, she has her hands behind the back of her
head, and is turning left to right. In front of her, but for us, behind
her, is a small girl, on a treadmill, smiling, wearing inappropriate clothes
for this kind of exercise. The walls are very green, in fact the whole
room has a green tinge. Alongside on an exercise bike, the view moves
to a girl wearing a black and pink shell suit and then a girl on a rowing
C. Hi, its me...ok,
yes I am ok...and you? good...but listen, could you do something for me?
There is this picture that I have sent through to you, but I am worried
that I may have sent the wrong one. Could you check that nothing has come
up on the screen, if something has could you tell me what it is...could
you describe it ?
C. Its no use,
there was no way I could talk to this woman on the phone, it was an emotional
issue for me. I wrote her a letter, explaining why I was so upset. I even
sent her pictures that illustrated what she had done. I put a card in
with the letter, with a stamp on it, that she could fill in to tell me
she was sorry, with tick boxes.
Image changes to a
girl, trying to do role play with a telephone.
E. Did you get any
C. No I did not hear
from her until roughly 3 weeks later, she sent me the card, she crossed
out the part that said I am sorry with a marker pen, and wrote complaining
that her bank had charged her, because I had stopped the payment to her
account. She said I still owed her, which led me to believe that she knew
she had made a mistake.
E. You originally
gave her 25, she gave you 24 of them, while she worked on the other one,
didnt you have time if you had wanted to, to look at the 24?
C. No I didnt
have time, I was babysitting him in the back room.
E. When you came home
that night and started to put it all together, did you realise that there
had been a mistake?
C. I already explained
E. Did you at any
time pick up the phone and tell her?
C. No it could not
be fixed, she couldnt fix it, I didnt want to talk to her,
I didnt want to get into a conversation with her about it. I knew
that if I called her she would start talking about something else. I got
the photos developed in an hour so I could send them straight away.
E. When did the infraction
C. Three years ago.
E. And you havent
seen her since then?
C. No, I couldnt
E. How did you work
out how much she owed you?
C. Well, I added up
the time it took, and all the expenses incurred and multiplied it three
times. Its not even an estimation of the true value. But its
the only system I know, and have used with regard to the value of this
kind of work.
It is a small room,
with wood chip paper, and a sloping roof, there is a low table and a girl
sitting at it drawing, occasionally she looks up.
C. She was thought
to have been born to a family earlier this century. She was a baby playing
out in the garden, near her parents remote home, when she was stolen
by a she-wolf who carried her away, (the wolf probably clutched her in
its teeth) Her parents searched for her, but they could not find
Probably she survived
by suckling the mother wolf as the cubs did, until she grew big enough
to fend for herself. Years later, stories spread around the village of
a ghost-like creature prowling with the wolf-pack at night.
The local pastor investigated
the situation. He found that instead of a ghost there was a girl with
filthy matted hair. She ran on all fours, and snarled, baring her teeth.
When she was captured she crouched in the corner of the yard into which
she was locked and howled at the moon.
It took many months
before she was able to change from animal, to human ways. Gradually she
learned to like day time better than night, she learned to kneel at the
table. It was difficult at first to stand, or even kneel as her knees
were very stiff. She learned to eat cooked meat and to refuse to eat raw,
dead animals, she stopped howling and became more friendly. Gradually
she began to walk upright, imitating the other humans, learned a few words
and started wearing clothes. She died 10 years later. One could hazard
a guess, that the strain of change was too great.
She had been kept
with her Grandfather in an upstairs room, given just enough attention
to keep her alive. When they found her, her clothes and bedding were filthy
and she was not able to walk, or talk or do anything that showed intelligence.
All she could do was to lie quietly, without responding to anything around
When they found her,
she received some skilled help, and learned to say a few words and walk
a few steps, although she was clumsy when she ran. Those in charge decided
to train her in a very systematic way. By the age of eight she was normal,
which means that she had made up for her six lost years, in the short
time of two and a half years.
C. Well I went over
there, and sort of took her ear. I kind of took her over to some other
part of the room, where the other friends couldnt hear, and I said,
this is making me feel bad for leaving me out, can you please play with
me too. That I will just go home if you dont, because this is making
me feel bad.
E. Have you tried
C. Yeah, but she just
said go home. They dont really care, they dont really care,
they just leave, they just dont talk to me. They whisper in each
others ear, saying things about me. It will take a couple of weeks
to understand it, could you give me a couple of weeks?
E. And if it happened
C. Sometimes things
seemed to be going really well, and then she would say something that
everybody likes, apart from me, and I feel like they really wont
want me to do this. They dont want me around, because I dont
have good ideas. I get afraid to say it, I get afraid to say, I hate you.
C. It terrifies me, because they might tell somebody else, and then before you know it, all the other people know, maybe ten of them. It doesnt feel good, I feel that, that it is really turning into a whole mess. I mean if it is like this now what is it going to be like in ten years time?
How would you feel
if your life looked like that?
There is a drawing of a circle of friends, with a stick man in the middle. Then Carol is drawing out a diagram of how she is going to achieve certain errands for the day. Then she is on her errands in the park, in the woods, and in the street and she keeps noticing graffiti which says, Carol likes to stay up late, Carol is at home, Carol never learnt how to use a VCR, Carol decided today was the first day of the rest of her life, Carol, I am real.
Emma Hedditch, Copenhagen May 2001