Film still from It's Personal featuring someone's hands
Somerset House Studios

Film Screenings: Moving Towards Disability Inclusivity

Hyper Functional, Ultra Healthy

20 Feb – 12 Mar 2023
10.00-18.00 daily
New Wing

Artist and writer Jamila Prowse programmes a three-week film installation at Somerset House Studios as part of Hyper Functional, Ultra Healthy, featuring works from Leah Clements, Kyla Harris and Lou Macnamara, Carolyn Lazard, Djofray Makumbu and Lizzy Rose.  

Moving image continues to champion and visualise the lived individual and collective experience of sickness and disability which often start from the self. In these films, we encounter intimate and vulnerable moments of living in and around a crip life. Carolyn Lazard’s Crip Time engages in the invisible, additional labour that comes with sickness, and in Djofray Makumbu's short titled Cover, he creates an animation of interviews he conducted with a group of young people with disabilities allowing them to tell their own stories. In It’s Personal, artists and friend duo Kyla Harris and Lou Macnamara give a refreshing personal perspective on the global care crisis. Leah Clements’s Collapse is a film work formed from the voices of people who fall asleep in times of stress, anxiety, or danger and Lizzy Rose’s mystical Journey to film a ruin links Rose’s key interests: chronic illness, communities as bodies and overlooked spaces.

About the films

Carolyn Lazard, Crip Time (2018)

Crip Time is a short durational, moving image work in which the artist is seen from a birds-eye view replenishing days of the week pill boxes with medication. Filmed in real time, there is a frustration with the length and mundanity of the task, as the viewer is invited into the lived reality of the additional, invisible labour involved in being chronically ill. The title refers to the notion of crip time, which considers the need for not only extra time, but flexibility in time, within disabled communities; rejecting capitalist notions of value and worth as they relate to productivity. 

Carolyn Lazard is an artist and writer based in New York and Philadelphia. They have participated in exhibitions at several institutions including KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; MoMA PS1, New York; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and the New Museum, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Long Take at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Their work was included in the 2019 Whitney Biennial and the 2022 Venice Biennale. Lazard is a 2020 Disability Futures Fellow and a 2021 United States Artists Fellow. They hold a BA from Bard College and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Djofray Makumbu, Cover (2021)

Cover is a short film that was commissioned through Studio3Arts Black Art Matters programme. For the commission, Djofray interviewed a group of young people with learning disabilities to tell their stories. 

Statistics from a 2021 report show that 15.9% of English school pupils are identified as having special educational needs (SEN) or learning disabilities. This percentage has increased steadily over the past five years. Only 3.9% of young people with learning disabilities have a formal care plan in place to support their needs. Many more go undiagnosed, misunderstood or unsupported, and many people still feel the need to hide or cover their disabilities. This film shares the experiences of Djofray, his friends and a group of young people with disabilities from Eastbury Community School in Barking.

Djofray Makumbu is a British Congolese artist born and based in East London working across moving image, sound, animation, performance and painting. He often works with friends and family when making his work which draws on his personal experiences and that of the people close to him. Recent works have focused on the shame and stigma of disability and mental illness, the pressures and violence of inner-city life from the perspective of young people, police brutality and the joy of music and dancing.

Djofray was awarded the Alumno/SPACE Studio Bursary (2018), the Goldsmiths Exhibitions Hub commission (2020), the Studio 3 Arts Black Art Matters commission (2021) and the LOEWE FOUNDATION / Studio Voltaire award (2021). He has exhibited and screened his work at South London Gallery, SPACE, Guest Projects, Studio Voltaire, Studio 3 Arts, Brixton Library and Tate Exchange. 

Kyla Harris, Lou Macnamara, It’s Personal (2021)

Kyla requires 24-hour care with everything from making artwork to having a wee. Struggling with a care shortage during the pandemic, she asks filmmaker friend Lou to swap cameras for catheters and learn how to assist her in a reality tv challenge. The pair give a refreshingly personal perspective of the global care crisis, the necessity of friendship and what it means to truly care for each other.

Kyla Harris is a filmmaker, writer and activist who applies an intersectional approach to all of her work. She is a member of the Disability Screen Advisory Group for the British Film Institute (BFI) and the British Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) that advises and supports inclusivity in the industry. Kyla has been a panelist for a number of organisations where she advocates for people who share her own identities as a queer, disabled women of colour. Along with Filmmakers With Disabilities (FWD-Doc) she co-wrote A Toolkit for Inclusion & Accessibility in association with Doc Society and Netflix as well as The FWD-Doc Engagement Pack. Her short film It’s Personal, that she co-directed and wrote, was commissioned by the Film Video Umbrella and is their most viewed film to date. She is currently co-writing a television series in development with Ash Atalla from Roughcut TV. 
Lou Macnamara is an artist, camera assistant and documentary filmmaker. After graduating from BA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, they co-directed and shot Working Illegally a short documentary that premiered at Glasgow CCA, exploring the UK’s privatised immigration detention system through the stories of detainees who work jobs inside detention centres for £1 per hour. Lou co-directed and shot Keenie Meenie a short doc about British mercenaries implicated in Sri Lankan war crimes. The film won Best International Documentary at Norway Tamil Film Festival and was described by Ken Loach as, "Important, dangerous and must be screened." The Hospital Club has named Lou as one of the 100 most influential and innovative people across the breadth of the UK’s creative industries in their Rising Star category for art and political filmmaking. 

Leah Clements, Collapse (2019)

Collapse is a film work formed from the voices of people who fall asleep in times of stress, anxiety, or danger. In it, we hear these seven voices describing when the sensation started happening, the circumstances in which it happens, and how it feels. These are accompanied by footage shot in thermal imaging, half outdoors and half at a sleep clinic where the artist was being tested for narcolepsy. It is interested in the act of collapse in the face of untenable circumstances as a form of resistance, a physical way of saying, "no", though a complicated and involuntary one.

Leah Clements is an artist from and based in East London whose practice spans film, photography, performance, writing, installation, and other media. Her work is concerned with the relationship between psychological, emotional, and physical states, often through personal accounts of unusual or hard-to-articulate experiences. Her practice also focuses on sickness/cripness/disability in art, in critical and practical ways. Recent commissions include her solo shows The Siren of the Deep at Eastside Projects (2021) and INSOMNIA at South Kiosk (2022-23).

Lizzy Rose, Journey to film a ruin (2009)

Lizzy Rose, Journey to Film a Ruin (2009) is a never before displayed short film by the late artist Rose, in which she visits the significant site of Romney Marsh. Recording the landscapes, and lingering on ruins of old churches, Rose considers the mysticism of the locality. While once home to villages, they have since disappeared as the result of sickness and pandemics which wiped whole communities out. Two voices of Rose’s mum and stepdad are heard, reflecting on the history of the place, the nature of community and sickness; tying the work to the artist’s wider interests in overlooked spaces and communities as bodies. Shown here for the first time in an exhibition setting, the film holds new meaning in the context of the contemporary COVID-19 pandemic, which has reframed our understanding of how widespread illness can impact whole communities. 

A retrospective of Rose's work is being organised in Margate between 31 March - 23 April 2023, across multiple venues including Crate, Limbo, Well Projects and Turner Contemporary, and an evening of screenings at ICA, London on 12 April 2023. For more information visit @exhibitionforlizzy on Instagram.


Wheelchair Accessibility 
The venue is located on the ground floor of the New Wing at Somerset House and is fully wheelchair accessible. 

Closed Captioning and Audio Description 
The films will all be screened with closed captioning. 

There will be a variety of seating made available in the venue. These include chairs with armrests and padded seats with supplementary padded arm-less bench.  

Remote Viewing 
Some of the films will also be available online for remote viewing via Channel, Somerset House’s new curated online space for art, ideas and the artistic process. 

This is a masked event. We ask that you wear masks during your visit. Masks will also be supplied at the venue. 

If you have any other access requirements, please let us know by emailing and we will do our best to accommodate them.