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Waiting For the Guards - public awareness film commissioned by Amnesty International

Knight, David and Hawker, Marc and Whitaker, Ishbel (2007) Waiting For the Guards - public awareness film commissioned by Amnesty International. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Knight, David and Hawker, Marc and Whitaker, Ishbel

Two-minute public awareness film commissioned by Amnesty International for which the researcher participated in the film’s development and was also director of photography/cinematography, launched online October 12th 2007.

‘Waiting for the Guards’ was made as a direct challenge to the treatment of prisoners held under the banner of the fight against terrorism. Using research drawn from a variety of sources including Amnesty’s own commissioned research materials, the approach to the film’s concept, the agony of a prisoner standing in the ‘stress position’, was shaped by Knight and the other members of the filmmakers. The stress position, often to be held for long periods, is a particular form of non-physically invasive treatment where the net result, according to Amnesty’s research, of rendering detainees to a primal state of disorientation. Amnesty argues that this violates human rights.

The prisoner crouches on two unstable crates with his hands behind his back and a hood over his head. Knight combined two elements of cinematography, lighting and camera position, to create particular associative values. Harsh overhead lighting produced the effect of the prisoner in a spotlight. The approach to the cinematography was connected to the sound recording which consisted of capturing the strained breathing of the prisoner under the hood. The camera was positioned as if for a wildlife film insofar as the all movement was kept to a minimum. Jiva Parthipan, despite his experience of performing physical acts and gestures in his professional capacity nonetheless found the experience both emotionally and physically painful. This enabled the focus to fix on the “prisoner” who performed the role drawing from his experience as a performance artist. The film is unsuitable for anyone under the age of fourteen. It was previewed in the Independent (10th September) and can be viewed on: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=10224.
The project’s website is http://www.waitingfortheguards.com/press.html

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RAE2008 UoA63
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Amnesty International
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 12 October 2007
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 23:02
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2016 15:21
Item ID: 1526
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1526

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