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Archival thoughts


In our first group crit this week we discussed several aspects to my work-in-progress audiovisual pieces. One of these discussions was about how to represent the final sequence of my audiovisual piece which focuses on the “almost” experience of death. I had been thinking of recording some audio of my thoughts on the topic and some of my previous writing. And one of the tutors suggested choosing to focus either solely on the visual or solely on the audio in this final sequence.

Over the last 2 days I have gone through old notes I have written on my phone, in old documents and even in instagram captions. I have then recorded myself reading them, as well as ad libbing. Some of these notes were quite emotionally triggering to re-read, so yesterday I took a break to edit together a short film about my dog. 

I wanted to share one of the notes I found, which I intend to include in some way in my sequence on time. I haven’t edited this note, as I think the long drawn out sentences appropriately represent the anxious state I originally wrote them in.

Killing time

“I often feel like I am waiting for something to be over. Killing time. And then the day ends and I realise I have done nothing – all the things I need to do – and I have done nothing whilst waiting for this day to end and now I panic, the whole night stretches out before me in a sleepless panic, I am again waiting for something to be over, the sleeplessness, the panic or just the night. And when that ends I realise the whole night has gone by and I haven’t slept, I know if I sleep in the day I won’t sleep in the night again, so I stay awake and all the things I want to get done in the day are put off until tomorrow, because I am too tired to do them. So I once again am waiting for the day to end. And the cycle continues.

I think this is a habit developed from chronic illness. I have so often had such horrific pain or such distressing symptoms that all I can hope to do during that time is find ways to pass time faster and with greater levels of distraction. I am just about surviving in those periods of time and survival is a big enough achievement in the circumstances. But it has become a habitual mode even on days where I could have done something else and there is a feeling, a sense I am waiting, willing time onwards.”

Charlie Fitz

Charlie Fitz is a UK based sick and disabled artist, writer and medical humanities postgraduate at Birkbeck, where she is a recipient of a Wellcome Trust studentship. She is a member of Resting Up Collective and of the arts practice group TRIAD³. Her multiform projects broadly explore experiences of illness and trauma. She worked as the engagement assistant for ‘Coming Out’ (2017) was on the activist panel consulting on curatorial and learning strategies for the ACC exhibition ‘Woman, Power, Protest’ (2018) both Arts Council Collection(ACC) Exhibitions at Birmingham Museum & Art gallery (BMAG). She was a guest speaker at Robinson College Feminist Society at Cambridge University, presenting on Feminist art & activism (2019). The same year she produced her first joint exhibition ‘Radical Acts of Care’ (2019) in collaboration with Oscar Vinter. The exhibition was hosted online and in person in London and Manchester. Fitz had work in Profile Gallery’s ‘Virtual Exhibition'(2020), Oddball Gallery’s ‘Locked/Down'(2020) and ‘See You At Home'(2021) by Able Zine x Kiosk N1C. She currently has artwork in the virtual show ‘Exhibition: Work in PROGRESS’ by Triad³ and has an upcoming group show for women’s history month called HYSTERICAL in aid of UN Women UK and Mermaids Charity. She has had short fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art published.