view of three characters in pink, blue and yellow, sitting on rocks by the sea at Portrane
Cast members on set at Portrane, Fingal, 2021. Photo: Ros Kavanagh

Echo’s Bones (2022) is a collaborative film-making project with autistic young people in North County Dublin, initiated in response to works by Samuel Beckett. Neither the film nor the following book are “about” Beckett or “about” autism. The project intends to work creatively with some of the features ofautistic language and communication (lists, word play,repetition, info dumps, wild humour) that can be pathologised as disordered, or in other filmic or literary contexts, valued asformally experimental and exciting.

Development with the young people began with a series of online workshops between February – April 2021, facilitated by Sarah Fitzgibbon, Sarah Browne and Eleanor Walsh. These workshops included creative tasks in response to invited guests and artwork prompts, and discussions about autistic representation in film, TV and online.  Together we watched films made by neurodivergent and disabled artists such as Mel Baggs’ In My Language (2007), Sharif Persaud’s The Mask (2019), and Jess Thom’s Me, My Mouth and I (2018). The group made a film together with Sarah Browne in 2022, informed by this process and an in-person devising and rehearsing process carried out with Mark Ball.

Following its premiere at the Light House Cinema, Dublin in 2022, screenings and exhibitions in 2023 include:
Aberdeen Art Gallery, presented by LUX Scotland; Middletown Centre for Autism International Conference, Belfast; University of Galway Centre for Disability Law and Policy annual summer school; The New Subject, group exhibition at Kunstall NORD, Denmark, curated by TOK; TULCA Festival of Visual Arts, Galway, curated by Iarlaith Ní Fheorais. Young people from the group presented the film and took part in panel discussions at the Dublin, Belfast and Galway events, joined by their peers and respondents with expertise in autistic advoacy, theatre and Samuel Beckett.

Attached documents

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Production photographs: Ros Kavanagh

Project producer: Aisling O’Brien 

Film producer: Maggie Ryan

Drama facilitators: Sarah Fitzgibbon, Eleanor Walsh, Mark Ball

Graphic design: Peter Maybury 

Composer: Alma Kelliher 

Cinematographer: Cathy Dunne

Public art co-ordinator: Caroline Cowley 

Commissioned by Fingal County Council through Infrastructure 2017-2021, Funded by the Per Cent for Art Scheme