A Different Kind of Different
A film by Jordan Baseman
A Different Kind of Different, an animated short film by Jordan Baseman, charts the psychological impact of breast cancer. Reflecting on the initial ordeal of loss, the film reveals a journey to acceptance via the liberation of mastectomy tattoos – “holy fucking crap!”
A Different Kind of Different premiered with a series of online screenings and illustrated talks in January 2021.
Exploring trauma, consent, agency, and ownership of bodies, the online event series invited artists, writers, scientists and breast cancer specialists to respond to aspects of the film that related to their own practice or fields of interest.
Events in the series featured live-subtitling from Stagetext and live BSL-interpretation from Jo Ross and Darren Townsend-Handscomb. The film was screened with closed captions.
Thursday 14 January 2021
Living with Trauma
Join us for the international premiere of A Different Kind of Different, followed by illustrated talks that consider the physical and psychological manifestations of trauma.
Speakers include medical tattoo pioneer Mary Jane Haake; writer, editor and curator Anna McNay; artist Jade Montserrat; writer for performance, page and video Sally O’Reilly; and artist Jordan Baseman. Talks will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the artist, Jordan Baseman, moderated by Clare Barlow, Curator of Exhibitions at Science Museum, London.
Thursday 21 January 2021
Who gets to make decisions about our bodies? Join us for a screening of A Different Kind of Different, plus illustrated presentations that will examine agency and health, the patient-doctor relationship, ‘patient-centred care’, and the lasting impact of trauma on our sense of self.
Speakers include leading specialist consultant breast surgeon, Fiona MacNeill; artist Lindsay Seers; John Troyer, Director of the Centre for Death and Society; and curator, educator and writer George Vasey. Talks will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the artist, Jordan Baseman, moderated by curator and writer Jes Fernie.
Thursday 28 January 2021
Reclaiming the Body
The final event in this series will look at physical declarations of intent that signify the reclamation of a changed body or self. Alongside a screening of A Different Kind of Different, presentations drawing on the speakers’ specialisms and lived experiences will examine these deeply personal acts of defiance.
Speakers include internationally acclaimed artist and filmmaker Mania Akbari; European tattoo historian Dr Gemma Angel; Anees Chagpar, Professor of Surgery (Oncology) at Yale School of Medicine; and John Walter, artist. Presentations will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the artist, moderated by art historian, writer and curator Gemma Blackshaw.
Featuring a cast of hand-drawn characters, A Different Kind of Different’s narrative follows protagonist, Alicia (voiced by an actor). Her story is based on interviews with people who have chosen to wear mastectomy tattoos, and on conversations with scientists and academics. With both candour and humour, Alicia reflects on life after breast cancer; from the hatred she feels towards her body, to her declaration that her post-chemo hair means she resembles Justin Timberlake (“are you fucking kidding me?”). She recounts the jolt of medical menopause, her rejection of breast reconstruction, followed by her encounter with mastectomy tattoos, and finally the realisation of her own joyful inking.
A Different Kind of Different is written by artist Jordan Baseman with writer Sally O’Reilly. Dr Becky Coles-Gale, a Clinical Health Psychologist who works across Major Trauma and Critical Care Services for the NHS in East Sussex, played a significant role in the development of the script. Other contributors include tattooist Mary Jane Haake; Professor Margot Mifflin, City University of New York; Dr John Troyer, University of Bath; and Dr Gemma Angel, University of Leicester.
The film was co-produced by Matt’s Gallery, London and Nerve Centre, Derry with executive production by Jacqui Davies. The original score is by award-winning sound artist and composer, DIE HEXEN.
A Different Kind of Different is funded by a Public Engagement Award from Wellcome, with additional support from Matt’s Gallery, the Royal College of Art, London, and Nerve Centre. Matt’s Gallery is supported by Arts Council England.
Research Participants: Alicia Duncan, Inga Duncan Thornell, Char Breshgold, Kathleen Shelton, Daisy Schmidt, Susan Wilde, Carrie Lamb, Linda Gomez, Mary-Jane Haake, Vyvyn LaZonga, Stephanie Tamez, Professor Margot Mifflin, Dr. Gemma Angel, Dr. John Troyer, Dr. Becky Coles-Gale
Public Engagement Consultant: Natalie Craven
Project Assistant: Alice Cocks
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