Public Selfcare System

First performed at Tempting Failure, 23 July 2016. Also performed at SPILL Festival in Ipswich, and Compass Festival in Leeds.

Public Selfcare System is a one-to-one performance, a tandem jump into the unknown, direct action, and a masterclass in self-care and the radical act of stopping.

As the government dismantles our public health and welfare systems, the future of “no money, no care” looks like chronic illness for all those not at the very top of the pile (and trust me, you are not at the top of the pile). Without access to public healthcare, what remains are shared public acts of self-care.

I am an expert in resting in public thanks to a neurological condition that forces me to lie down wherever I happen to be, and stay there until I am well enough to get up again. In order to carry on living we may all have to learn to stop in the middle of the street, in the middle of the day, and rest. Get ahead of the curve, get your training in now.

“Come with me to a place you may have seen, walked past, but never been to. We are going to lie down and have a rest: I will look out for you and look after you. You have right to be here, you have a right to do this. We can do it together.”

Rhiannon’s feature for Exeunt based on the work.

Public Selfcare System is supported by Arts Council England.

Images below are by Julia Bauer and document the performance at Tempting Failure in Croydon, London.