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Open Access Article: Co-creation and the unmaking of knowledge


We're pleased to say that our journal article 'Autism through Cinema: Co-creation and the unmaking of knowledge' is now published as Open Access in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. The article is a collaborative paper co-authored by our project leads Steven Eastwood and Janet Harbord, alongside our partners Bonnie Evans, Damian Milton and Sebastian Gaigg, and it explores the length and breadth of the Autism Through Cinema project as a whole. The article predominantly reflections on how the methodological motivations of the project have fostered a 'reverse engineering' of methods used historically in film history and film making, the result of which places cinema itself under autistic scrutiny.


The article also details the work carried out on the project so far, including our 2020 Project Artworks workshop, our Screen Dynamics workshop, and the formation of the Neurocultures Collective for the co-creation of the feature film Stim Cinema. There is also consideration given to the importance of collaborative, co-creation activities and input which has been led and shaped by the writings of autistic scholars and activists such as Milton, Nick Walker, Remi Yergeau, and Jim Sinclair.


There are reflections as to how the Autism Through Cinema project might disrupt and challenge the so-called 'canon' of autism films, while also seeking ways in which the film studies curriculum might be 'deneurotypified' to open up wider academic discussions about the representation and expression of autism on screen. The conclusion of the paper offers a reconfiguration of cinema as a medium which has always contained neurodivergence:

As the research continues, the endeavour remains, not to produce a cinema of disability, a parallel track or an alternative silo, but to expose the neurotypical foundations of the cinema that exists and to bring into being a more complex, diverse and imaginative cinema of the future.

The full article is available to read, for free via open access, on the following link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09518398.2022.2025492

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