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I am a postgraduate researcher at Nottingham Trent University, I am funded by the AHRC. My research analyses the female voice in documentary film and focuses on two groups of Nottinghamshire women; those involved in the 1984 - 1985 miners’ strike, and the women involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, in particular those involved in the 2016 Shutdown. These female activists experienced a silencing of their voices as they asserted their desire for change.


My research and film will attempt to challenge traditional documentary making in my ambition to use a non-conventional directorial form to, in the words of Trinh T. Minh-ha, ‘speak nearby’ my female participants. In so doing I aim to give the women and their voices primacy.

'... I can't do what I want with my own body because I am 

the wrong sex

the wrong age

the wrong skin ...'

- June Jordan. Poem About My Rights, 2005. 

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A floating sari, a wall splashed with red, signifying spilt blood, haunting music and a burning Union Jack opens the film.

- Sari Red. Directed by Pratibha Parmar. Kali Films, 1988.

'... documentary presents a truth but not the truth ...'

- Patricia Francis.

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'[P]atriarchy, she argues, is the primary form of human oppression, without whose elimination other forms of oppression, racial, political or economic, will continue to function.'

-  Sue Thornham, 

Passionate Detachments, 1997.


'The question,“who is speaking, and where does power lie?” must be asked as I endeavour to adopt Trinh T. Minha’s preference to ‘speak nearby’ her subjects '

-  Patricia Francis.

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'Many of us still hold onto the concept of difference not as a tool of creativity-to question multiple forms of repression and dominance-but as a tool of segregation-to exert power on the basis on racial and sexual essences.'

- Trinh T. Minh-Ha. When The Moon Waxes Red, 1991.

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'... We find ourselves having to repeat and relearn the same old lessons over and over that our mother did because we do not pass on what we have learned, or because we are unable to listen.'

- Audre Lord. Sister Outsider, 2007.

'Artists as researchers and makers have multiple preoccupations. As artists, they are concerned with the process of creation, with innovation, representation and dissemination. As researchers, questions regarding ‘how’ the work evolves are asked in terms of not only methodologies but theoretical underpinnings. The choices made by artists are investigated, and methodological approaches and authenticity explored. These are not separate but integrated roles.'

- Patricia Francis.

'Film perceived as a work of visual art, is sculpted through the creative manipulation of image, speech, sound and music. It is from this that a resulting ‘voice’ is formed.'

- Patricia Francis.

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