The Shambles of Science

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Sarah Browne, The Shambles of Science, 2019. Still from 4K video with sound, English language, 28:30 minutes

"Sarah Browne's film The Shambles of Science, featuring human and canine protagonists, makes a connection between two historical events: the involvement of Swedish physiology students Lizzie Af Hageby and Leisa Schartau in anti-vivisection protests in London; and the contemporaneous force-feeding of suffragettes held in Holloway prison. Central to the film is the way the bodies of both the dogs and the women were represented in the contemporary press as prone and unspeaking, whether subject to illegal experiments or resisting state-sanctioned 'care' in the prison system. This could help to explain some of the affinity the women felt for the dog, which led to an unusual coalition of the vulnerable across the political spectrum. The image of the dog is here taken to ventriloquise proto-feminist ideas about bodily autonomy, dignity and political voice."

– Nora Heidorn & Simon Sheikh

Sarah Browne, The Shambles of Science, 2019. Still from 4K video with sound, English language, 28:30 minutes
Sarah Browne, The Shambles of Science, 2019. Still from 4K video with sound, English language, 28:30 minutes
Sarah Browne, The Shambles of Science, 2019. Still from 4K video with sound, English language, 28:30 minutes
Sarah Browne, The Shambles of Science, 2019. Production still by Joshua Aylett

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Directed and edited by Sarah Browne

Featuring edited extracts from Lizzie Lind Af Hageby and Leisa Schartau, ‘The Shambles of Science: extracts from the diaries of two students of physiology,’ Ernest Bell, London, 1903; E. Sylvia Pankhurst, ‘Forcibly Fed’, McClure's Magazine, London, August 1913; Jane Purvis (quoting Fanny Parker), 'The Prison Experiences of the Suffragettes', Women's History Review , 1995.

Experimenters: Esther Maliani, Stacey Sacks. Dog handler: Julia Lundh. Voice: Cara Tolmie. Witnesses: Alisa Grifo, Ashley Smith, Jenny Richards, Hyun A Cho, Malin Hüber. Cinematographer: Joshua Aylett. Sound recording: Eduardo Rodriguez Chapo, Cara Tolmie. Sound mix: Seán MacErlaine. Colour Grading: Michael Higgins. Produced by Malin Hüber / HER Film. Project development assisted by AEMI.

Funded by the Arts Council / An Comhairle Ealaíon

Supported by Konstnärsnämnden | the Swedish Arts Grants Committee