Personal Independence Payment Face-to-Face Assessment
Catherine Cleary, 2021
About the work
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a government benefit that replaces Disability Living Allowance. This work focuses on a part of the application process for this benefit, where applicants are asked to attend a face-to- face appointment, designed to assess how their disability affects them.
This piece was originally a poem, written after attending a PIP face-to-face assessment. The text of the poem was later adapted to form the basis for this film.
Re-imagining the interview through performance, the video uses shadow play and whisperings to explore dynamics of power and miscommunication. The film embodies sensations of not being understood and of speaking out to an audience during an event veiled in smoke and mirrors. Coping with the demand for intrusive personal exposure, in order to be granted financial help and stress from fear of bad faith on the part of the examining bureaucracy, are revisited in this artificial shadow land.