The research is a critical exploration of the fabulative filmic collaboration with Petra, a participant recovering from heroin addiction. This fabulative approach articulates a cinema practice that seeks to address the issue of addictive behaviours in a way that has rarely been investigated, with a focus on the recovery process in the long-term. The research lies at the intersection of Film Studies, Performance Studies, Philosophy, Psychiatry and Anthropology.
Theoretical insights obtained through primary practice-led film research make contributions to addiction studies by reconsidering biomedical, sociocultural and psychological research on addiction; questioning past and contemporary performative nonfiction filmmaking strategies addressing mental health narratives thereby offering a new model of filmic collaboration in relation to practice-led findings in long durational performance art.
The collective filmic enquiry explores alternative safe spaces for people recovering from addiction to current cognitive-behavioural therapeutic models by addressing the crucial issue of hidden or neglected forms of mental health narratives.
The doctoral research aims at exploring duration in nonfiction filmmaking and during the recovery process, shifting from rather implicit, anticipated and impressive performances to more explicit, spontaneous, subtle and durational ones. This helps to remain focused on nonverbal and more-than corporeal dimensions of addiction, which also generally remain underresearched.
The research hypothesises that recovery from addiction is an explicit performance. Instead of only seeing addiction as an issue to solve, a set of symptoms to address or an urge that needs to be controlled, each new step is also a complex and rich performative experience to understand, cope with and re-enact. The model of working tests the hypothesis with help of performative techniques initially practiced in the context of long durational performance art.