Museum of Austerity

    • Sacha Wares, John Pring
    • United Kingdom
    • 2021
    • 30 min
    • Installation
    • International Premiere
    • DocLab: Liminal Reality, IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction

    Museum of Austerity is a mixed reality exhibition that explores what happens when state safety nets fail. From 2010 – 2020, the British government implemented a series of changes to the UK benefit system as part of their austerity (cost cutting) agenda. In 2016 the UK was investigated by the UN who found that “grave or systematic violations” of the rights of disabled people were taking place in the UK. These violations were closely associated with changes to the benefits system.

    Combining verbal testimony, original music, and volumetric capture, Museum of Austerity documents events from this era, inviting audiences to contemplate close up what happens when the state’s rhetoric and its citizens’ lived reality tell different stories.

    Co-produced by English Touring Theatre, the National Theatre Storytelling Studio and Trial & Error, this powerful installation combines the skills of theatre/XR director Sacha Wares with the in-depth knowledge of John Pring, editor of Disability News Service.


    • 30 min
    Sacha Wares, John Pring
    National Theatre, Trial and Error Studio, English Touring Theatre, Ollie Lindsey, Robin North, Clarice Hilton
    Key collaborator
    Mo Ahmed, Peter Carre, Imogen Day, Nichole Drury, Jill Gant, Helen Marston Hullah, Dave Smith, Gill Thompson, Alison Turner
    Miriam Buether
    Technical artist
    Prema Mehta, Leon Baugh, Hana Pascal Keegan

    IDFA history

    International Premiere
    DocLab: Liminal Reality
    IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction

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    IDFA history

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