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Arnolfini - est 1961

“What makes Newham, Newham?”

“What was the most challenging moment during the first wave?”

“What was the most beautiful moment?”

In autumn of 2020, artist ‘the vacuum cleaner’ invited 47 Newham health workers into his artist studio and filmed conversations with them about their experiences of the first wave of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Frank and tender conversations bring into focus the complexity of each health professional’s experiences. The challenges they faced and the compromises forced upon them.

Their stories reveal their moral struggles, resulting in mental health challenges and frustrations, and how this compares to the official narrative of ‘heroes’. They also speak of their resilience in team work, peer support, and their hopes for the Newham community they serve.

The vacuum cleaner would like to share what he heard with you. Join him and Sascha Gilmour in an evening of film, live installation and sound to remember the details of a truly extraordinary time, population and place.

A project by the vacuum cleaner.

Performances Saturday 14 May at 8pm and Sunday 15 May at 3pm.

Access information:

There will be a touch tour on Saturday 15 May at 2pm. The show does not have audio description but preshow guidance will be sent to VI audiences in advance. Please contact Mayfest at

With contribution and a very special thank you to: Adeola Agbebiyi, Andrew Kelso, Anna Collini, Anni Khan, Arun Mahay, Ben Fraser, Catriona Rowland, Charlie Hubbett, Cath Reeve-Jones, Chris Odedun, Cliodhna Gillespie, Ellie Richards, Emma Young, Esther Murray, Ferha Saeed, Fiona Sarpong, Folasade Ajagunna, Funke (Olufunke) Bella, Giuseppe Labriola, Hafiz Syed, Hannah Prytherch, Helen Parker, Lyunade Oluwatosin Ajibola, James Napier, Jason Strelitz, Jenna Finch, Leigh-Anne Hill, Lily Dryburgh-Smith, Loveness Kamzara, Luxmimalar Velauthar, Maria Vidal, Mike Willis, Petra Francis, Pragna Katariya, Rhonda Reddington, Richa Gupta, Samuel Jerram, Sara Hiles, Sean Bourke, Shabina Hussain, Susie Beck, Vijaya Munian, Yousef Eltuhamy, Yunus Dudhwala, Zarmina Jan, Zara Zaman and Person X.

In collaboration with Dr. Emma Young.

Design and Performance Sascha Gilmour.

Ethics and accountability Dr. Cecilia Wee.

Sound Design Rhiannon Armstrong.

Music Performance New YVC.

Audience Facilitation Fox Irving

Lead Interview Producer and Assistant Editor Becky Sumerling.

Production by Jesse Bateson, Kai-Oi Joyce Yung, Beki Bateson.

EXPOSURE has received support from Arts Council England, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Royal Docks Team, Wellcome Collection, Gessnerallee, and the Arts and Culture Programme, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust.

**** (4 stars)

“Quietly devastating” The Stage

Watch the trailer for EXPOSURE here

A colourful image of the Mayfest logo

EXPOSURE is one of many, wonderful events Mayfest are bringing to Bristol this year. Check out the line-up in full at