Waiting is one of healthcare’s core experiences.  It is there in the time it takes to access services; through the days, weeks, months or years needed for diagnoses; in the time that treatment takes; and in the elongated time-frames of recovery, relapse, remission and dying.

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, our project opens up what it means to wait in and for healthcare by examining lived experiences, representations and histories of delayed and impeded time.

In an era in which time is lived at increasingly different and complex tempos, Waiting Times looks to understand both the difficulties and vital significance of waiting for practices of care.

Our work is divided across four themes.  Click on these for more information.







You can find out about all the work we are doing right here, including details of workshops, conferences, academic papers and publications and public engagement events.

Follow us @WhatIsWaiting on twitter or facebook

Time Being, screening at MakeTank, Exeter, 24-26 September 2020

Time Being

Deborah Robinson

A collaboration with Ruairí Corr

24 September – 26 September 2020

A 14 minute film with sound

Socially distanced hourly screenings

Free admission

Timed tickets only. Booking strongly advised

Maketank, 3-5 Paris Street, Exeter EX1 2JB

Join us at the spacious Maketank in Exeter City Centre for a socially-distanced screening of the new film by artist and researcher Debbie Robinson. We’re in the midst of making the space ready and we’re really excited to be opening (safely) to the public on Thursday 24th September.

To keep everyone safe we are releasing just a handful of timed tickets for each screening.  Please book through Eventbrite here.

Please note: Unfortunately there is no accessible toilet at Maketank. There are accessible toilets approximately 50m away at St Stephens House.

Maketank is a large disused commercial space located at street level with toilets on the 2nd floor. Seating will be spaced and face coverings required (unless exempt) in line with the latest government guidelines.

You can download more info about the film and Ruairi and Debbie’s collaboration here or watch a clip here.

Ruairi Corr Film Project

Deborah has begun making a film with Ruairi Corr, who was diagnosed at six with a degenerative genetic disorder, Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a disease linked to the X chromosome.

ALD results from a buildup of fatty acid due to the relevant enzymes not functioning properly.  The fatty acid buildup in turn causes damage to the myelin sheath of the nerves, leading to seizures and hyperactivity.  Symptoms of ALD include problems with speaking, listening and understanding verbal instructions.  For more information about ALD visit ALD Life.

Ruairi lives a life that is structured around medical waiting.  He is dependent on a wide range of care givers, and the support of his close family and their friends.  Within this structure, he lives a full and busy life.

The project with Ruairi stems from Deborah’s interest in how people with sensory impairments might experience and inhabit time in a situation where medical waiting and continual care are integral to living.

People with ALD experience visual impairments and have difficulty with hearing and information processing.  These differences mean communication can be unusually slow, yet this slowness can create an atmosphere whereby people without ALD feel encouraged to adjust their tempos and communication to match the pace of life and thought of those with the disease.

From the outset, Deborah has aimed not to make a documentary about Ruairi, but to find ways to explore affect through experimentation with audio visual techniques.  Deborah says:

I wanted to capture something of Ruairi’s highly attuned multi-sensory engagement with the world through touch and sound, especially by operating at the level of vibration.  I was particularly interested in working with darkness and soundscapes.

As filming progressed, Ruairi began to shoot his own footage using a GoPro camera worn on his chest.  Rather than being the passive object of a documentary, he is participating as a collaborating filmmaker and is able to create his own record of his work and activities.

Deborah and Ruairi are working on this project with cameraman Stuart Moore.

Project Lead: Deborah Robinson