Ajimal – Apathy

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Directed by Fran O’Hanlon
Director of Photography – Joseph Hobbs
Editor – Daisy Smith

We spent a day in Ramsgate with Active Lives Active Minds, a community group who work with those at risk of isolation and loneliness.

Over the course of the day, we filmed each person in a place of special significance to them.

Valori grew up in London, but moved to Ramsgate nearly 40 years ago. Softly spoken and gentle, she volunteers with several community groups. Valeri started making mosaics about 18 months ago and recently won a regional competition for new artists; we filmed her at the table where she makes her work.

Joan has a sharp, dry sense of humour. She is the eldest of 6 siblings, who are now dispersed throughout the world. She still refers to her brothers as ‘my boys’. Joan moved to Ramsgate after she married, and owned a newsagents on the seafront. She is a keen letter writer and meticulously maintains a logbook of events, appointments, conversations and to do’s. She says that she still doesn’t feel old, but she knows “the body’s knackered”. We filmed her at home in her favourite chair, where she reads and writes.

Mary won her last disco-dancing competition aged 61; a singer and dancer since her youth, she loved being on the stage. She has lived in Ramsgate all her life. During the Second World War, Mary volunteered with the fire service, she would run to the site of bomb blasts to help put out the fires when Ramsgate was heavily targeted. We filmed her outside the Granville Theatre, where she last performed aged 81.

Brian worked as a freelance photographer over many years. He co-created an exhibition entitled ‘The F-word’ as part of The Freedom Project – documenting stories of forgiveness, created in the wake of the Iraq War. A quiet and humble man, he volunteers with a number of community groups including Active Lives Active Minds. He kindly agreed to photograph the day with my old Minolta camera. We filmed him by the boating lake in Ramsgate which looks out over the sea, which he loves.

Sherry founded Active Lives Active Minds after an injury where she was housebound for 6 months; it was then she came to realise how awful it was to be isolated and alone. Whilst working in a residential home, she ran a survey and asked the residents what would make their lives better. They either said “To get out of here” or “to die”. This motivated her to try to make life better for people who are ‘hidden away’ in their communities.

For more information and to support the work of Active Lives Active Minds:

Donations made through their crowdfunder page will receive a free download of an exclusive live session version of Apathy / Apatheia.

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