To gaslight is to manipulate someone by psychological means into doubting their own sanity. The Oxford Dictionary has it as one of their words of 2018, from #metoo to #fakenews, the concept of gaslighting has never been more visible. CinePunked’s Robert JE Simpson and Dr Rachael Kelly along with writer and activist Liz Nelson will host a discussion around gaslighting on screen and the modern context of a term. Recorded in front of a live audience.
Sleeve notes are below.
With Robert JE Simpson, Dr Rachael Kelly, Liz Nelson.
Produced by Ben Simpson
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Episode URL: https://player.whooshkaa.com/episode?id=614588
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CinePunked have long felt it an important part of their remit to cover areas of social importance, and in 2018 hosted a live event around the MeToo movement, Art vs Artist, which we have previously made available via the podcast.
As a follow-up live event, we screened the 1940 British original screen adaptation of Gaslight, based around Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 stageplay, and accompanied it with a live panel discussion, reuniting our Art vs Artist panel of CinePunked’s Robert JE Simpson and Dr Rachael Kelly, along with writer and activist Liz Nelson. Ben Simpson was in the control booth, monitoring the audio and committing the recording to file.
It was never going to be an easy conversation, but it was an important one. And the chat itself veers from the Gaslight film into areas of political gaslighting, and the realities of domestic gaslighting. This was a conversation that some of the panel had first hand experience of, the event serving not only as a discussion about a powerful film, but educating audience members on recognising gaslighting themselves.
For the live show, we provided support materials in printed form, and were also on hand to talk personally with anyone who had immediate concerns, and could direct them to the appropriate bodies. If any of the topics cause you concern, please check out the links provided here.
As ever with these sort of shows, we had a thorough debrief after to ensure each of us was okay – some of these topics can stir up memories and emotions one isn’t expecting.
At time of publication in early April 2020, we are globally in the middle of the Covid19 pandemic, and with lockdowns around the world, calls to domestic abuse helplines have seen a massive increase of 25% or more. We felt that now would be a wise moment to release our recording, as there will be those out there presently who are going through massively difficult periods at home, or know people who are in the situation of living with an abusive partner. It may be that the conversation here helps to unlock some understanding, and possibly help people in trouble.
Ben’s recording has been processed, cleaned and edited for final publication. As ever with our live events, we try and publish them unfiltered – hence there is a slightly off-topic exchange around consumption of adult entertainment. However, we ran into two small issues, typical of live events. I had to remove an entire exchange because the audience member spoke before the mic got to them, and the audio is unusable. The second was a lengthy attempt to hijack and derail the conversation utterly by a belligerent audience member. As it served no purpose other than to inflate their fragile ego and demean our speakers, I have excised it. Frankly if you’re turning up to a public discussion and you aren’t willing to be courteous or on topic, you shouldn’t be near the mic.
We have further plans for related conversations, although at time of press, everything is much delayed owing to the global situation. We’d love to hear your feedback on the conversation – please drop us a line via social media channels.
Recorded live at the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast, Northern Ireland on 2 February 2019.
Engineered and mixed by Ben Simpson in studio, March 2020. Final edit by Robert and first published on 4 April 2020.