The Shambles of Science

"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


Premiered at Sick and Desiring, curated by Nora Heidorn for Bergen Assembly, 2019