Veronica WAIN

Bend, Break or Defend?


The autobiographical documentary film 18q — a valuable life, is a practice-based research project within Griffith University’s Queensland College of Arts and furnishes another important chapter in challenging mainstream media’s representation of persons identified as disabled.

My work, the very action of taking the camera into our private domestic space, and indeed our emotional space, in portraying the “normal, everyday, lived experience” of my and my family’s lives since the birth of my youngest child Allycia in 1995, endeavours to offer an alternate reading of disability as “other”.

The viewing of a version of my life, re-framed by the experience of living with a child labeled disabled, and to critically assess the piece via an academic discussion, has provided a unique opportunity to explore the editing process and its intrinsic role in re-framing and re-visioning the representation of the disabled “other”. The project has also prompted a re-examination of self and the ethical framework I used in determining how some boundaries needed to be broached and how some, out of respect for family members and other members of our community, remained in tact and in some instances, has resulted in footage being discarded.

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Veronica WAIN:

Veronica is a PhD candidate in Film and Television at Griffith University ’s Queensland College of Arts and is currently employed as a sessional academic at the Queensland University of Technology. Her first short film, “The Creek” screened on SBS. Since then she has written and/or produced several short films that have screened nationally and internationally. Her last short “Car Pool” (directed by Martha Goddard, written by Stephen Irwin) won Best Comedy at the St Kilda Film Festival in 2007. Whilst she has a great love for filmmaking, her greatest passion is her family. She developed a keen interest in disability studies when her youngest daughter was born with a rare genetic condition in 1995.